I sat down in front of a roomful of strangers and spent an hour convincing them we weren’t strange at all, just very human and common. All in all, though, my voice is very small. My lack of fame and fortune can make those who hear my witness believe in my insignificance. Because the big money, the large promotion and the overriding messaging in our society lies to the public by telling each and every one of us how absolutely unique we are.
It establishes an arrogance without the foundation of even five minutes worth of confirming proof. It makes us try to clot together in blood lines rather than for reasons to grope in the darkness for the light switch to avoid cursing our bleakness.
It tells us that we have a unique difference. Actually, all temptation is common to all men. What makes us special is how much we share in common with each other.
This propaganda flowing from the world’s view also tells us that we have unique values–but the values you revere are meaningless if you’re not bearing fruit in your life, especially showing up with a tinge of friendliness on your face.
Then there’s the concept of a unique birthright. “These people over here are better than those people over there because …” Well, often we’ve forgotten why. But God is the Maker and as the Creator, He tells us bluntly that He’s no respecter of persons and strongly suggests that we follow suit.
Then religion steps in a offers the precept that many of us have a unique salvation. The truth of the matter is, we all need to repent from time to time or we will find ourselves perishing just like the people we criticize.
Those same religious people suggest that Jesus was a unique human–but we’re told in the Bible that he was tempted in every way just like us, that he was touched by our infirmities and that he learned. Sounds pretty doggone human to me.
The scientific community energizes the theorem that there are unique species–preferred, if you will, by nature. Here’s the truth about that: whatever does not evolve will dissolve. That goes for organizations, ideas, fashions, spirituality and bio-chemical reactions.
Lots of folks believe in the doctrine of unique ability, but for everything I do well, there is a parcel of activities that I am very poor at achieving. Facts are, we all take our turn as weaker brothers. It’s what makes us feel empathy towards each other–compassion for other human beings. Without it, we start doing a bunch of speeches about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and wondering why the “bums on the street don’t get jobs.”
We also begin to promote the notion of a unique prosperity. “Some people just have the knack for making money.” But we forget–riches are a doorway to generosity, or else they’re a trap door to destruction. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What a powerful thought! Everyone needs to learn generosity–whether you have five dollars or five billion, it’s the same lesson. Find out what you need, and then give as much of the rest of it away as you possibly can before you depart the planet.
Of course, one of the more popular ones is the comical presentation of the unique gender. “Men are better than women; women are better than men…” How powerful do you think we can be as a race when one half is fighting the other? That’s why the Bible says that “in the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female,” and since the kingdom of God is within us, all of those things occupy our human space and should give us a license to understand one another instead of pretending we have to travel from Venus to Mars.
And finally, there is a great patriotic shout, especially in our country, that we have a unique freedom. But it is the truth that makes you free. It’s not freedom that brings the truth. And the truth of the matter is: NoOne is better than anyone else. When you finally grasp that, your freedom allows liberty for others, granting you permission to have it yourself.
Do I think we’ll ever get over the fantasy of unique and embrace our commonality, develop a sense of humor about our journey and enjoy one another? I don’t know. But I do believe it is the only worthy pursuit for anyone who would want to repair the breach in our world instead of widening it.
So my caper will continue. I will traverse the country, sharing that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” and field these objections from my brothers and sisters, who are frightened that if they become too accepting, they will lose their power to be superior.
It is my mission. I don’t know if it will ever gain the wings to get off the ground, or whether it will just be simple, thought-provoking idea shared in a gathering of the local citizens. But I do know this–I have gained true humanity, power, intelligence, wit and spirituality by denying my uniqueness and accepting my portion in the human family.
It’s what Jesus did. He became totally and completely one of us so as to leave no doubt about the importance of common ground.
NoOne is better than anyone else.
Are you ready to sign up for the team? Or are you looking for your own unique way to be unique?
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