Is Not That Special?

From a review of a book on founding Britain’s Special Air Service in World War II, what was required of recruits —

Courage
Fitness
Determination
Discipline
Skill
Intelligence
Training

and another review noted, quoting the book —

“Recruits tended to be unusual to the point of eccentricity … people who did not fit easily into the ranks of the regular army, rogues and reprobates with … little time for convention.”

There are a couple ways to read these ideas.

Isn’t that special? in the mock-admiring tones of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady
Dropping the mocking we can aver officiously, Well … it’s not all that special

Either can make us feel better.

The holier-than-thou of the faith-based, or
Its above-it-all analog of ones who sleep in

Neither can make us different.

It is easy enough — I did it in about three minutes — to run the gamut of dismissive tendencies, the tendentious tripe-ing and carping of the non-professional (or professional, if you like) critics.

It’s easy enough to find the hypocrisy in the hortatory, the holes in the high-emperor’s Hanes.

Much harder to give it a go — to run the gauntlet instead of the gamut.

If more did that it wouldn’t be so special.

 

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