You’re One in a Million, Just Like Me

June 4, 2011

Every girl dreams of the day when she is swept off her feet by a dashing prince who flashes a smile as they gallop off into the setting sun. Okay, maybe that’s just my undying love for Disney talking, but I think we can all sympathize with wanting to be told that we’re “that special someone” whose “1-in-a-million smile” completes someone else’s life.

But let’s dissect that admittedly self-indulgent need for attention on an unnecessarily annoyingly analytical level, shall we?

If you’re really ‘1 in a million’ then, in our nearly 7 billion person planet, that means there are about 7,000 others just like you, right? Now before all you hopeless romantics out there write me off as being a hardened cynic, let me just say that I realize this is a figure of speech, merely meant to make someone feel special (although you have to admit it is almost too clichéd to even accomplish that nowadays, isn’t it?)

However, I still find this little math equation–or at least the musings behind it–provoking. If there are ~ 7,000 other people just like you, then there are 7,000 other people who, for example: don’t like little round foods like peas or corn-off-the cob, or who were inexplicably obsessed with David Spade for 3 years of their life. If we can manage to overcome our largely individualistic American egos, I think it can be quite comforting to think that you are probably never alone in your thoughts or actions. I don’t think this has to mean that you can never be unique, but rather your uniqueness can be fostered through the discovery of how it is exactly that you are connected to the rest of the world.

Of course, we could flip this scenario another way: if there are ~7,000 people just like you, then that means there are ~7,000 people just like everyone you hate, too. Hate is a strong word, I don’t like to use it….but let’s face it, everyone can think of at least one person in the world that they wouldn’t mind never hearing of or from again. If you don’t want to admit it out loud, at least admit it to yourself. This doesn’t mean that you wish ill-will upon this person, but you just…think your own personal existence would benefit greatly if it didn’t involve them. However, if there are 6,999 other ‘thems’ out there, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with them somehow, right?

This is where the ‘perspective’ part of this entry comes in. You can’t just ignore something and expect it to disappear from your life ipso facto. Additionally, if you go through life thinking that you can simply vanquish all those who stand in your way, you better be prepared to fight an army of 7,000 every time you go out to battle. My point being, it is important to recognize where other people are coming from. Most of us are rational beings (despite what mass media may lead you to believe) and therefore, we form our opinions and morals based on some form of logic. Just because my logic may not coincide with your logic does not mean that either one of us is intrinsically wrong, or stupid–rather, we have just formed different conclusions because we have been researching different sets of data.

I realize that this may sound frustratingly Buddhist. Praising empathy and reflexivity can sound incredibly high-and-mighty. But that’s not what I’m trying to say. It’s absolutely normal to simply wish to write someone off as being irrational, stubborn, or just plain dumb when they won’t give into logic which seems so iron-clad in your mind. It’s much easier to do that than to actually try to see where they’re deriving their logic from. And even if you can dissect where they’re coming from, then you often run into another, even messier issue: morals. Morals tend to go beyond, and run deeper than logic and rationale, and as such they are even more difficult to shake up.

It is morals, then, which truly create most of the impasses and disconnects we experience with people around us. And while I may have been suggesting earlier that you should try to empathize, or at least recognize other people’s logic, I don’t think there’s really any suggestion to be made when it comes to trying to understand another person’s morals.

This brings me back to my original contemplation for this entry. If it’s comforting for you to think that there are 6,999 people out there who would have your back in any moral debate, then you have to be prepared to realize that there are thousands of others willing to fight your army to the death. And really, what would that accomplish?

I wish I had a one-size-fits-all solution to this dilemma, but if I did, I expect I would currently be accepting a Nobel Prize for finding a way to reconcile all the global conflicts…not writing a blog on my couch in my pajamas at 7 pm on a Saturday evening.


8 Responses to “You’re One in a Million, Just Like Me”

  1. northstar25 said

    I really like your blog. A lot of what I discuss in my blog is a discussion of the real world outside of college v. what we expect coming out of it. I am working as an intern for the summer in DC at the Capitol Building for a Senator, so I some of the stuff you are writing about really makes sense to me. Especially the part about sitting at home on a Saturday doing a blog post.
    Keep up the good work, one suggestion I would give, just friendly criticism.
    Avoid the usual rant in your blog – everyone has a blog about their views on life, but to pull away from that crowd I’ve found it good to address things no one wants to talk about, so I chose the shock of having a “real” job mixed with political happenings, and the woes of being an unpaid intern.

    • colloquial said

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ve never tried this whole blogging thing around, and I’m definitely still feeling it out, so any encouragement and/or suggestions are really appreciated! I’ll definitely have to check your blogs out as well, they sound right up my alley 🙂

  2. Nice tangent of a cliche..made me think 🙂
    Well written piece though, I enjoyed it

  3. I like this. My brother always took a similar statistical approach. I quote, “When it comes to women I may have a low batting average, but I have a ton of plate appearances.”

  4. Love your post. I do hate the thought of numbers. The cliche reminds me of an old R & B song titled “One in a Million You” … as with most love songs it’s based on fantasy and not reality.

    I’m under the delusion that among the other 7,000 who are just like me, there’s .0000001 percent of me that remains unique only to me. A minuscule percentage I know, but that little bit has a strong voice that can ROAR. But, I am outnumbered. The odds are against me. It’s like gambling … the house always wins.

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