6 September 2013
The Big Picture
“So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you,” said McCullough. If everything or everyone were the same thing, there would be nothing to compare it to because they’re all alike. This speech further explains to say that no one is special because everyone is special. Everyone is exceptional because no one is. This speech is called “You’re Not Special” and was written by David McCullough Jr.
McCullough’s speech begins with him speaking to the seniors about life’s great forward-looking ceremony, also known as graduation. All our lives, until that point, are filled with adults and others encouraging, counseling, consoling, and listening to us. Contrary to what we believe and what we’ve been told by those individuals, we are nothing special. In fact, no one is special and every year there is about 3.2 million seniors graduating in a class filled with many types of people just like us. McCullough mentions that you’re not the center of the universe but if everyone were to get the same thing then it would become meaningless. We start to do things for the award of things rather than just for the accomplishment. So he encourages us to remember that education should be exciting. We should do things just because we love them and not because there’s a specific reason to. We should live and fulfill our lives because everything is not about us. Think about others and the world differently because in the end, everyone is special.
Commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning. Which in this speech he’s referring to graduation. We highly symbolize graduation. Every single one is roughly the same down to the venue and our one-size fits all attire. It’s a special time in our lives, moving forward and moving on, but it’s special to everyone. We are all the same and we all receive our diplomas whether we’re a valedictorian, class president, jock, or little princess. We’ve grown up listening to our parents tell us how “special” we are just to realize that we aren’t the only ones. The universe doesn’t revolve around us and we are not the center of it. We need to open our eyes and see the big picture. We’re going out into the real world and leaving high school. There will be no more adults there to tell us how “special” we are. It’s hard to grasp but also strikingly true because as I move closer and closer to that commencement I realize that I am special, but so are all my other classmates walking down that tarp covered aisle with me.
Also, if everyone is special then no one is. If everyone were to be awarded the honors we receive, they would mean nothing. We cheapen them whether it be a plaque, trophy, or medal. Things are no longer done for the achievement because people are too quick to ask, “What’s in it for me?” I’ve noticed this in my life all the time especially with sports. Sometimes I think why be on a sports team if I won’t medal or letter? I think that just because I might not reach that expectation then I won’t matter. Reading this has opened my eyes that it’s not about the award or medal I may get, but the fact that I’m out there participating and achieving my goal. My goal of making an impact on my team and loving the experience I can provide my teammates and myself.
As a senior in high school I may think I know a lot, but I know very little. Today and especially graduation will be the beginning for all of us seniors. As life goes on, we will learn so much more and should think about our future and live for it. What…