Last week the President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, spoke directly to the American people in an OpEd piece in the New York Times.
The OpEd was in regards to the recent events in Syria. Some of what he said I could perhaps agree with. Some of what he said I wouldn’t. I’ve no interest in getting into the “politics” of his opinion. I wouldn’t comment at all except for a few words that he strung together which couldn’t be more wrong.
President Putin said, and I quote: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”
I must take exception to this statement. It is exceptionally misguided. It is exceptionally wrong!
President Putin was speaking specifically of American Exceptionalism but exceptionalism isn’t American; it is human. Every human is exceptional in their own way. Mr. President, even you are exceptional!
I haven’t met a lot of Russians but every single one I have met has been an exceptional person. They each add value to the world in their own way, just like people from every country on earth.
Nothing is more dangerous, more limiting, more morale killing then to allow someone to believe there is nothing special about them. Nothing sucks the enthusiasm from life faster than the thought that you’re not exceptional.
Every human knows something you don’t and that means that if you’re willing, there isn’t a person on earth you can’t learn something from. That’s exceptional in itself!
President Putin also said and again I quote: “We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”
This I agree with 100%. Where you go wrong Sir is in your thinking that “equal” somehow means the same, or unexceptional. We don’t all have to be identical to be equal or exceptional.
I don’t agree with President Obama on many things but on this singular point of his speech he is absolutely correct, the American people are exceptional. Then again so are the Russian people and while we’re at it, so are the Syrian people.
President Putin, let yourself go a bit and see your own exceptionalism and that of your people. Don’t limit the potential of the Russian people by telling them they’re somehow less than they indeed are.
It’s really freeing to know just how special you are. If you believe that God indeed made you then ask yourself how could you be anything less than exceptional.