Peace Partnership

Why Exceptionalism Is Killing Us (Literally)

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017

There’s this guy you know. You know the one: he’s good at everything. He’s successful, he’s funny—really funny, he looks like he could be a personal trainer, he’s really smart, everyone likes him, he has the perfect family, he ages like a fine wine, if he’s going to the Christmas party everyone else will go too.

There’s this woman you know. You know the one: she’s perfect. She looks like a model, she’s always kind, her style is impeccable, she’s an amazing hostess, her house is always spotless. Yoga class, grocery shopping, and dry cleaning need to be done in the next 30 minutes? No problem.

These people really exist and we know their names. These are the Michael Jordan’s of the world. The Tom Brady’s, the Emily Ratajkowski’s, the Chris Hemsworth’s, the Oprah Winfrey’s, the Bill Gates’, the Pablo Picasso’s, the Cristiano Ronaldo’s.

Rihanna has 83.1 million Twitter followers.

There is something exceptional about all of these people: pro athletes, brilliant artists, beautiful supermodels, gifted singers, talented actors, millionaires, and billionaires. They’re household names around the world. Their influence is astonishing.

And that’s precisely the problem. Many of our teens and 20-somethings (and maybe some of us) think that we need to be that exceptional too. The reasoning goes like this: average is boring. I don’t want to be boring. I need to be exceptional to avoid being average. Therefore, I must be exceptional at something. But we’re not exceptional. But we want to be. But deep down we know we aren’t—not really. And back and forth we go, tossed between extremes of self-admiration and insecurity. Thankfully, statistics can help us. (I literally never thought I would say that.)

This is a standard bell curve. See the middle? That’s us. Statistically speaking, 99.9% of us have to be average. Some of us are on the high side of average and some of us are on the low side of average, depending on what trait we’re measuring. Some of you may feel a little insulted that I called you average. Why do people resist being average? We resist the idea of being average because we think if we believe we’re average our lives will never matter, we will never achieve anything great, we will never be anyone extraordinary. And if I’m not extraordinarily unique, what’s the point of living?

It’s this kind of thinking that is killing us. Once you adopt the belief that life is only worth living if you can be part of .1% of the population, you are also adopting the belief that the other 99.9% of the population is, at some level, worthless. That, my average friends, is a major predictor of suicidal tendency, anxiety, depression and a multitude of other issues.

While you may not be able to achieve the pinnacle of human greatness, you should try to be the best you possibly can. You shouldn’t strive for mediocrity, but you shouldn’t be discouraged if your best efforts find you somewhere in the middle of that bell curve. Don’t let this get you down, we’re all in this together—for every Dr. Phil, there are 10,000 counselors out there, well, just like me.

Interestingly enough, many of the people we view as exceptional reject that label, and present a convincing case for their averageness. For example, many exceptional people believe the most valuable things in life are the most average. Spending time with loved ones, reading a good book, going to dinner with friends, supporting a friend through a tough time, laughing together at a shared experience. These things are only average in one sense of the term: they matter to everyone. If these irreplaceable things matter so much to everyone, maybe we can all learn to recognize the priceless value in our average existence.


Watch for Facebook event invites and please share with your friends! Email Amy for more information.

December 16th and February 27th

Grab your family, friends, and co-workers and join us for Peace Partnership nights at the Kansas City Mavericks. Tickets are $20 each and $7 of every ticket is a donation for Peace Partnership along with other fundraisers throughout the evenings. Our goal is to sell 200 tickets! Purchase tickets here and enter the promo code: peace.

Special note for all who attended our 2017 Golf Classic, you received a ticket voucher in your gift bag! Don’t forget to take advantage of your free ticket on one of these nights by calling the phone # listed on your ticket voucher.

November 1st – December 30th

Come do your Christmas shopping at Especially Jewelry (1223 NE Douglas St, Lee’s Summit, MO). Donate either $10 or $50 to Peace Partnership and save up to thousands of dollars on fine jewelry! Savings range from $20 – $2,000.


Thank You!

Thank you for partnering with us! We are making a difference in our community, one family at a time, because of your support. A special thanks goes out this month to:

  • Glen and Becky Rogers, thank you for your generosity and belief in all that we do.
  • Thank you to our business partner, IT4KC, for your continued support of our mission.
  • Brent and Peggy Heid, your generosity will help others find hope and healing through the difficult journeys in their lives.
  • Tom and Debbie Reed, thank you for your additional support to Peace Partnership.
  • Kaye Carter, thank you for your gift. You have made a difference for someone who is searching for answers.
  • Thank you to Bob Glaser, we are excited to grow our partnership with you.

During this holiday season, please consider supporting a family or child in need. A gift of $100 will support a child’s counseling needs for one month. For a gift of $250, an entire family of four can receive care for the same period of time. Please click on the link below or contact our Director of Development, Amy Henderson at 816-399-0530 or:

Thank you for your support!

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