How would you feel if you spent your whole life trying to boost your child's self esteem by telling them how special they were only to have the commencement speaker at their high school graduation tell them that none of them are.  That's what recently happened at Wellesley High School in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

It's a very controversial speech to give at a High School Commencement when students are receiving all kinds of awards for academics and sports.  They're headed off to big name colleges or very important jobs and he has the nerve to stand in front of them and tell them they're not special?

His name is David McCullough and he has become internet famous for his "You are not special" speech. 

It's scary to think about.  Throughout most of our childhoods, many kids are told that "they are special" and "they're going to do something big or important."  But then what happens to the adults who go on to simply live normal lives?  They don't go on to change the world.  Do they feel like failures because they didn't live up to the bar that was set so high? 

The staggering statistic for me was when he said, "Even if you are one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion, that means there are nearly seven thousand people just like you."  It can be a little depressing but is it true?  No matter how great a person is at something, there is always a chance that someone will still be better.

Somewhere along the line, some people never learned that the world does not revolve around them.  Everyone knows someone in their life that has a sense of entitlement like the world owes them something.  Guess what.  It's not true.  Chances are, if you got offended by that last paragraph you might be that person.

So what do we do as parents?  Do we give in and stop trying to make our kids feel good?  I don't think so.  I think there's nothing wrong with having support from your parents.  You give them all the love you can give them.  But they have to learn that they have to earn what they get. 

I totally agree with the sentiment that "if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. ..."  There are special people in the world.  You know how you can pick them out?  It's not by the size of their trophy room.  It's not by the car they drive or the job that they go to every day.   You can tell they're special by how much they do for others.  Tell someone how special they are and watch how they react.  That might give you a window to look through to see how special someone really is.