Dear Children

My Dear Children, 

I feel the time has come to correct something I taught you as true that, as it turns out, is not true at all. 

As each of you know, I have always tried to be truthful with you, believing that shooting straight would build trust. Everybody, especially kids, deserves honest answers to direct questions. 

For instance, when asked about the existence of Santa Claus, I always said, “No, there is no such thing.” If you still wanted to play along with the ruse as a fun game, that was cool with me. 

Asked about life-after-death I always said, “Nobody really knows. Only the dead know for sure and they’re not talking.” The ghost question that was sure to follow was left to your own logic to figure out that claims of the existence of ghosts are always anecdotal and ultimately unfounded. 

My intentions were honorable, but I have done you all a disservice by providing you with one truth that I now realize came from my own bias and ignorance and that now must be corrected for your own good. 

Brace yourselves. Here it is: 

You are not special. 

Not at all. Not one little bit. 

Your shit does, in fact, stink. Not every utterance that escapes your mouth-holes is one of brilliance. You are not faster, smarter, more attractive and better-abled in any way than anyone else. 

I know this must come as quite a shock to you to hear this now and all at once. I have had the benefit of discovering this real truth about you all slowly over time as a dawning comprehension. I have weighed the consequences of bursting your bubbles—good and bad—and have decided the truth must be told now. 

Maybe, just maybe, the truth will set you free. 

I did honestly think you all were special. I hung on your first baby words and thrilled that you were ahead of your peer groups with such things. I made certain you had trees to climb and fresh squeezed orange juice and had beach sand trucked in for your hand-built play fort. I secretly looked down my nose at the mouth-breathing-Kool-Aid-video-game-playing neighbor kids. 

Those kids are driving new cars to their community colleges right now while a few of you are struggling to find an endeavor worthy of your lofty talents and riding around in other kid’s cars on the way to chill at some unspecified location doing God know what while you wait. 

The culture of your upbringing helped perpetuate the myth. “Self-esteem” was thought to be something that could be applied topically, through smiley faces as a grading system and everyone on every sports team getting a trophy just for showing up. Everywhere you went, somebody was telling you that you were simply awesome and could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up. 

This is simply a lie. There is not a rocket scientist in the lot of you. Sorry. 

Along the way, your presumed special-ness has caused you each to adopt attitudes and misconceptions that need correction. 

Your hands are not too pristine to wash a dish. Folding laundry is not beneath you. Taking out the trash, replacing a roll of toilet paper, picking up a wet towel from the bathroom floor and scrubbing a toilet are all skills that, with instruction and practice, can become part of your skill set. 

Oh children! Don’t cry! Don’t despair! 

Once you get used to the idea, a certain liberty will come your way. You can no longer be paralyzed by fear of the commonplace, the mundane. You may begin to understand the simple joy of a clean stovetop and a well-made bed. 

You are easily as qualified to flip burgers as anyone else. You may even develop a work-ethic and earn a paycheck. It will be fun! 

You may even take the time to drop your respective noses from their lofty positions and notice how some others around you are really smart and capable and have unique talents and gifts. This, I hope, will be a turning point for you all. 

This is when you really will become authentically (from the inside out) special. You will finally know that each of you is special. Really, really special. Just like everyone else.# 




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