It’s 2:00 AM as I begin to write this and I’m sitting on my bed looking out over a darkened Hempstead wondering why the snowflake philosophy gets such a bad rap. What seemed a fresh, encouraging and generally positive outlook in my youth has somehow become the object of nothing but scorn by my slightly more grown and infinitely more cynical generation.
“You are not special,” memorably grumbles one Tyler Durden. “You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
Okay. We’re generic and indistinguishable and all tied by our eventual collective and somber, tenebrous fates. Better? Has something somehow been achieved by embracing a thought process that labels yourself as tedious, redundant and expendable?
Even if the above turns out to be true (which as an advocate of human individuality and spirit, as naive and romantic a notion as it may be, I whole-heartedly reject), what’s wrong with believing the alternative? What is so horrible and frustrating about someone believing that they are in fact unique and in possession of distinguishing qualities and capable of offering something that is different and individual to the rest of the world? Is this brand of optimism really a characteristic that requires extinguishing?
I’ve always found those ideologies that embrace the spark of originality and the inherent worth of each human being (there’s those Unitarian Universalist axioms kicking in) to be incredibly compelling, as there’s something intrinsically beautiful not only in the distinctiveness of every individual but also in the positive acknowledgement of these distinctions by others. That referring to anyone as a ‘snowflake’ has earned such a negative association is somewhat disheartening. And while I can understand in some degree how this attitude came about, the abuse of the colloquialism by those relentlessly and ineffectually attempting to showcase their status outside the material mainstream shouldn’t overshadow the phrase’s more praise-worthy connotations.
My name is Amy Butenhof and I would like to fearlessly and obnoxiously declare my standing as a special and unique snowflake and hope the more sardonic and pessimistic persons of the world won’t preclude you from doing the same.
This has been my 2 AM two cents, I hope you read this at a more reasonable hour than I’m writing it and good night. 🙂