A great post, and the Comments are worth reading too:
You know the real depressing thing? I actually am special. Far above average intelligence, memory, etc. I feel just as lost and directionless as everyone else.
But this one is entirely wrong:
Hate to break it to you Matt, but every generation of kids was told the same lie* and has come to same conclusion–at least the ones with brains who are actually paying attention.
Man, no one was special when I went to school. We were classed by test grades and anyone who was more intelligent than the most intelligent class got some special handling — like going to a junior high instead of finishing elementary school — and that was it. And yes, I did say classed by test grades. So if you were in the last of the five classes, you’d already been told that you were basically a moron who’d have to prove otherwise to the school. How’s that for hammering the conceit out of a kid?