These were words from a commencement speech of teacher David McCullough, Jr.to the Class of 2012. He was chosen by the students and he was not being mean or cynical. His point was that in your "everyone-gets-a-trophy-feel-good-about-ourselves" culture, the real prize may be found in working to develop our own innate greatness through sacrifice and suffering – even failure. Sounds like Jesus to me. The Resurrection comes only after death. Jesus tells us that we must Die to Live.
"You're not special….You see, if everyone is special, then no one is," McCullough said. "If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. ... We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. ... No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it. … As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans."
The peace and contentment that comes in being ourselves will never come from a false propping up of fragile egos. It will come from a life dedicated to the messy work of God. It is worth it.
What will you risk today for the Kingdom and your own peace of mind?