“You’re Nothing Special” Has Never Sounded This Good!
To be told these words nine times: “you are nothing special” never had such positive meaning until it was uttered by the endearing English high school teacher, David McCullough, Jr. to his graduating class at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts.
McCullough’s words were met with mixed emotions from the audience, but oddly enough, very few who reacted with passionate disdain were from the graduating class, parents, or even faculty members. Instead, the audience happened to be “eavesdroppers of the media Ethernet,” the frenzied media, including the blogosphere, which went wild with uploads of the speech.
In clarification of his speech, McCullough, explained that although his words were misinterpreted, the phrase was used as attention grabbers, “hyperbolic drollness” meant to guide the class of 2012 along reflective, introspective thinking. He had concluded his speech, entrusting the students with the responsibility of selflessness, using their privileged advantage to embrace humanity: “The sweetest joys of life, then come only with the recognition that you’re not special, because everyone is…”
In his appearance on CBS News, McCullough revealed that he had received overwhelming expressions of gratitude and praise, particularly from the parents. His only regret is the fact that he has become much of the story, when focus ought to be on the students, in celebration of their achievements and “new beginning.”