Manners: Snowflakes

Yes, you are a special snowflake.

That was not sarcastic. I meant it.  I have yet to meet two people who are actually identical in every way. Which means, like snowflakes, they are each completely mathematically unique and amazing.

Welcome to the blizzard.

I live in Georgia. We count snow in flakes. Maybe inches. I can’t even process feet of snow in my world. But that is where we are. We are in a Midwestern six-feet-piling-up blizzard. There are 7.something BILLION people – and each one is unique. But there comes a point (for Georgia it’s more than 6 flakes sticking to the road) where you can’t care that they are unique and amazing, they are something you need to deal with. They might pose a danger of frostbite and the looming threat of illness.

How to Approach the Snowflake/Blizzard:

There are two sides to the manners here, what you can expect of yourself and what you can expect of others.  For yourself, good manners says that you should treat each person with respect. You should honor their uniqueness and admire their special snowflake-ness. Yes, they are a special snowflake and that is AMAZING. I will never understand how people aren’t as amazed by how we are each unique and beautiful and special. Like really, think about it for a minute – I have trouble coming up with 10 characters and not making them have strong overlap (ok, maybe it’s like 100 – but still!) I can’t even begin to process 7 BILLION – and that’s just what’s currently alive. That isn’t the billions of people who came before us.

If you can’t manage to be amazed, at least work towards respect. Show courtesy and kindness.

Then there is what you should expect. You should expect that everyone is so inundated with cold, wet snowflakes and they just want to get home to their warm blankets, drink, and family that they can’t process how unique and special you are. They are in a blizzard and the sheer volume of snow has decreased the beauty of it into something downright intimidating. I’ve never heard anyone say “oh yay, I’m stuck out in a blizzard!” People die in blizzards. It’s scary. So be aware that not only is that other person in a blizzard and afraid of dying, there are so many snowflakes with each having their own beauty – and so minute of differences – we just don’t have time to process all of them.

So yes, we are each special snowflakes and should be treated with the awe and concern that entails.

At the same time: welcome to the blizzard where we should expect everyone is pushing past to try to make it home before they freeze to death.

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