woman stardustHey, you.

Stranger, reading this.

I don’t know who you are, but you’re a special snowflake.

You’re a snowflake that, from even a very short distance, looks like every other snowflake. But that doesn’t mean you’re not pretty. In the same way that all other snowflakes are.

I like the way you sparkle.

No, really.

People are all special for near enough the same reasons. Some people will do something extraordinary that makes them stand out, but no one expects you to. There are only so many extraordinary things that people can do. And you’d rather have a perfect world than an opportunity to be exalted for your good deeds, wouldn’t you?

So never mind that.

It’s commonly lauded that if everyone is special, then no one is. But that’s pessimistic and is generally a sentiment held by grumpy old farts.

If everyone is special, that means you are.

Never forget that.

You don’t have to believe that you’re special because you are loved by a supreme deity. You don’t have to believe you’re special because you change the world every minute through some supernatural butterfly effect.

All you need to know to prove that you are special is that you are alive.

Because there are so many reasons you might not have been.

THE SIZE OF THE UNIVERSE

It’s so big you cannot possibly comprehend with your tiny human brain, and that is why you don’t realise how amazing you are. You think it takes a long time to get to work in the morning? Think about how far humanity as a whole has left to explore. We’ve barely got a probe or two outside of our own solar system, which is one of millions of billions of equally immense systems throughout the universe. Why, out of all the things that could have happened in this mind-blowingly infinite and unknown universe, should you happen? Well, you tell me.

THE EARTH IS DELICATE

I suppose to you it’s fairly solid. You walk around on it all day. You can jump up and down as much as you like and barely make a dent. Hell, fracking and drilling happen everywhere and this planet is holding its own alright so far. But really it’s insane that this world exists at all. We are exactly the right distance from our sun that we have light that nourishes us. We have precisely the right weather conditions to keep the vast majority of our planet consistently habitable. We have a magnetic field that protects us from dangerous radiation, and it is beautiful. If even one tiny condition were slightly imbalanced, humans could not survive. You are a ridiculously unlikely little miracle, friend.

MOST SPERM CELLS DIE

Think of all of the people who have ever lived and who have ever died on this planet. That is a considerably smaller number than all of the sperm cells that have not found a corresponding egg. A lot of them are never intended for reproduction. A lot of them don’t connect even when people want them to. And even the hardest-working little guys have to compete with loads of others to get out into the real world. You could’ve been any one of those poor, failed sperms. But you weren’t. You were you instead. Well done, you.

YOUR PARENTS’ DNA DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE YOU

Think about it. Your brothers and sisters have the same genetic make up as you. And they might be nothing like you at all. Even if you have an identical twin, you won’t be exactly the same in every respect – there’s got to be at least one thing you disagree on. If time skipped backwards to before you were born and your parents had you all over again, it might not end up the same you. It could be some other baby, a bit like you, but not quite you. It is only possible for you to be exactly, specifically you this one time. So make the most of it.

YOU ARE MADE OF STARDUST

At the absolute core of everything, you are a lump of conscious, animate carbon, trying to make sense of the random happenings of a tiny planet out in the corner of a solar system that our future alien overlords haven’t noticed yet. But that is amazing, because carbon is an incredible piece of space stuff. All the elements that are put together to build you were forged in the furnace-hot centres of millennia old stars. Long before anything even like you was ever conceived, ancient stars burnt themselves out to birth what became you.

And that is why you are special.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.

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