Posted by: Jeremy K | November 8, 2008

As Special As Anyone

on-top-of-the-world

I find the word “special” interesting because of the ways that it is used within society. Often when people attempt to lift others up or comfort them, they will use this word. This is most often the case when someone has a low self-esteem; it can help to tell the person that they are special and have a purpose. Another example is when someone has created something grand or unique, people will compliment the person by saying that they are special and gifted. Often people do not think about the words they use when they talk, (myself included); they are merely trying to convey a certain message. On the other hand, isn’t that what language is all about, communication?

I often think about words and how their original meaning has been lost over time to a changing society. This of course does not happen to all words, but I think that if anyone sits down and thinks about all of the sayings that they use and pick out the operative words, they would be surprised at what meanings the words have gained in that particular saying. So I ask you, are you special?

I would be quite interested in conducting a survey asking the participant what they think the word “special” means. I believe that it is one of those words that can accompany a wide array of meanings through different understandings. As a reference, here are some definitions according to two dictionaries:
Wiktionary:
~ Distinguished by a unique or unusual quality.
~ Of particular interest or value. Eg. Everyone is special to someone.
Dictionary.com:
~ Distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual.
~ Being such in an exceptional degree; particularly valued. Eg. A special friend.

Words have meanings according to their original construction, as well as what they may change into because of a common use of the word within a society. However, I believe that some words also gain special attention when looked at in the light of a religion or faith. For example, the word special has particular importance when considering its use within the faith of Christianity. I myself have not done any studies of the word within the faith but I believe that God has created us all special. I believe this in the sense that he has given us all unique talents and gifts, personalities, sense of humour, roles within the church/ his kingdom. In addition we are also special because the God of the universe, who has created everything, has created us and not only that, he has designed us, given us a purpose for his glory and loves us to the point of sacrificing his son to save us. So I tell you, you are special!

Another interesting thought is the possibility of differing levels of being special. I am quite sure that some people have pondered upon the implications of everyone being special. If everyone is special does this mean that no one is. If a requirement of being special is being unique or unusual then how can this be fulfilled when everyone holds these qualities? While this may seem a dilemma in theory, if we look at the implications of the word within real life, the answer becomes quite clear.

Everyone is different, have you noticed? No two people are exactly the same nor have two people ever truly been considered to be exactly the same, when compared carefully and objectively. When someone creates a piece of artwork, another person will not be able to create the same thing and if they do, it will only be the same in physical appearance. The artworks will be quite different in essence because of the artist’s intent, feelings, background and life that have contributed to the piece of art. It will also vary because of what it means to the artist as well as other people who know some of the background information. Imagine now, what a horrible and lifeless world it would be if everything was the same, everyday, forever. God is the ultimate artist and we are the pinnacles of his creation; he takes delight in making each of us unique and special, making us who we are. So I ask you, how special are you?

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