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If everyone is special - is it TRUE then, no one is? Can you speak to the beauty of being "normal," of life lived without spectacular drama.

There is so much PR in the world today - personal and professional "buzz" created to get us noticed, get us ahead, to make us stand out. Is that really a desirable quest, or even one that serves any purpose? What are the benefits of a life, well lived, in normalcy. (and I use the word normal very loosely)

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Closing Statement from Libbey Koppinger

Dear Ted commenters below :)
thank you all for your insight - and I must say, wonderfully phrased thoughts and notions about living life.
I must apologize though! I somehow contracted a serious case of double conjunctivitis, which was resistant to 4 different courses of antibiotics - around the same time I posed this discussion... needless to say - I was practically blind for a time and for a few days too boot - and didn't get to read these comments or respond in a timely matter ;(
All is well finally {whew} and I learned how very much I value my sight! Finally reading your posts gave way to the following: A connected line of thought here - or at least on the topic of "normalcy" - there is really no such thing. If we could contemplate how incredibly lucky we are to have use of our senses, to own our intellect, and to interact in world {whether virtual or tangible, local or global}, we might "see" our place in the cosmos as pretty amazing. It took a stubborn and actually scary eye infection to remind me how complex and critical vision IS - what a gift! If with all used our senses and abilities with true appreciation for them, I doubt we'd be consumed with "standing out in the crowd" - we'd be too busy, too immersed in the miracle of being human, reaching potentials, enjoying the journey and each other.

And I found too - the lack of one ability DID strengthen other senses, so I think; it isn't about being a perfectly tuned and functional human machine that seems important, but rather doing even the smallest things, with great joy, great interest, great enthusiasm. Like voicing YOUR thoughts on TED. So I thank each of you - never have I enjoyed reading comments as much as I did today, when I regained the better part of my ability to see the computer screen! Cheers!

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    Feb 1 2012: Saying that everyone is special is just plain wrong, not because they are not special but because thinking you are special can make you believe that you have achieved something you have not.
    The people who motivate me the most are the ones that say i am not special.
    there is nothing wrong with being normal some people just have greater ambitions that make them different or special or whatever you want to call it.

    I think the sentence everyone is special should be removed from the equation completely it just creates pretentious people.

    Be who you are, trying to be unique is misleading if you are not doing what you want to do, you will not be happy as a celebrity just because people say that celebrities are happy.
    be who you want to be not what people tell you, that is how you truly become special.

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