ImageThere is no such thing as standing out. We all want to fit in somewhere. Even those of us who claim to be different, fit into a particular mold and nothing is wrong with that. This very difference is what gives each of us our own identity.  Keirn Thomas

I view the world as a massive jigsaw puzzle, composed of tiny pieces that all look differently-unique in their own way. The sad reality is that these pieces cannot accomplish much on their own, they must be apart of the bigger picture in order to realize their true potential. These pieces can only fit together when they are viewed in comparison – to assess likeness and differences to see where they fit.

Well, so it is with us as humans, we all want to be similar in some way, but yet we dare to be different. If you were told that you are special, in a rather flippant tone- it is oftentimes accepted as a compliment. However, if you were told you are special, in not such a pleasant tone… the person may just be intimating that there is something odd about you.

 Well, it’s time for Recess!

I often watch these cartoons and remark on the fallacies that these things are built on, but I can’t seem to stop watching. So, where in this world, do you find the nerd, the geek, the jock, the  popular kid and the chubby kid all being best friends and hanging out as the same social group?…. Ummm- Nowhere except in the cartoon series Recess!

This simply would not happen because someone would have felt left out and felt as if they didn’t belong. Belonging is a very important human need. Abraham Maslow in all his wisdom, placed the need to belong in his Hierarchy Of Needs for self Actualization. He called it a basic need, right there with the need to eat, have sex and safety. The man knew about prioritizing!

In order to feel needed, there must be a bond, some sort of attachment. Persons like John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, believe that bonds are important, even as babies as these bonds will influence our personalities for the rest of our lives. The creator tried to indicate the importance of bonding from the start. Sperm must attach to egg, fertilized egg must attach to endometrium and baby must be attached to mommy by an amniotic cord. Mommy may not really like baby because it is not as cute as she imagined so there was Oxytocin! The hormone which allows them to bond, which even clouds her vision to see baby as the cutest thing ever!

There is no life without attachment.

So whether we want to be an emo, nerd etc, we will fall into a group which means there are others like us. We need to know that we are not alone for social comparison and self-affirmation  and the claim to be really unique is often explored when we are trying to find our identity.

So, is it really special to be special? Lets see what the attachment styles say about these recess characters and about you….

Gretchen-  The Shaky Conformist

Gretchen is usually described as the awkward genius. While she is smart,  she believes that things must be done the way science directs. While she oftentimes allow her decisions to be made empirically, these decisions are usually not voiced until the others in the group have made their decision. She does this to maintain her friendship with the others as sometimes her depth of knowledge and analysis cannot. or, are misunderstood and in tern, ridiculed by her friends. I guess  at some point in our lives, we have all been shaky conformists, we try to do what’s good and the things society expect in order to e accepted. However, while this is Grethen’s true personality, for the average Joes and Janes, this is a facade. When we hang with the persons we have no true ties with, we oftentimes end up feeling lonier, getting hurt or end up following decisons we would have made by ourselves, which lead us lambs to the slaughter. I guess no one really wants to do this, but if shaky attachments are the strongest some peple can form…. I guess like Gretchen, they just go with it.

Vince- The Confident Jock

It is often believed that beautiful people are often nice, often known as the Halo Effect. The truth is, they are nice because with this notion, they are usually treated well and aren’t subjected to teasing, bullying and some of the other difficult times average people endure. I guess that is the case with Vince, while he is really talented at basketball, he has a rather charming personality which enables him to be liked by all. As a result, he has secure attachments to his friends.  He is very trusting of his friends and fits in quite well despite him being the only Black male in the group. He voices his opinions and respects the opinions of others which allows Vince to have a really good life.

Gus- The Determined Unfortunate

Well, I am certain that many persons can relate to Gus. As a cadet/scout he tries really hard at his task and tried to be dedicated. However, his efforts often seem like they aren’t good enough since things don’t always work out the way he planned. Gus seems to have a secure family and secure attachment features as he remains positive and motivated to continue his mandate even though obstacles may present themselves. Whilst he may not be the most accepted in his circle of friends, they have chosen to accept him as he remains true to himself and his decisions which makes him a valuable asset although he is “different”.

Spenelli- The Rebellious Oxymoron

I guess some of us can understand Spenelli’s point of view when it comes to parents’ expectations. Sometimes, parents try to live their lives through their children and use the children as a means of fulfilling their missed or unused opportunities. Sometimes they think at birth they were given the Blueprint and knows how we turn out. Spinelli is a victim of this situation. In my opinion, Ashley is the second girliest name… right after Jessica and the stereotype for Ashleys are that they are prim, proper, spoiled and uber girly. This has affected her in some form and has created an ambivalent attachment to her parents and even to her friends. She refuses to rebel and be the opposite of what her parents want since she is not comfortable. Her friends in this case provide an outlet for expression. She is loud, sometimes self conscious and has a short temper. However, these friends try to mold her into the person she wants to be – a free spirit bt tries to instill other values which are essential to life as well. Around her friends she can be loud, chew with her mouth open, profess her love for soccer- things which cannot be done at home. So while she is different and probably knows she doesn’t quite fit in, she chooses to remain a part of the group and they act as her therapy and brings about some happiness and freedom.

Randall- The Creepy Snitch

It comes to me as a surprise that of all the available pictures of Recess, that Randall is never featured. Whilst he may be a minor character in the true sense, for all of us Recess watchers, the little snitch gets to us all the time. It is also good to note that while Randall isn’t a part of the group, he still plays a pivotal role in the lives of the children at school. It seems that Randall has a very avoidant personality and is scared of really trying to make friends at school. His insecurities also leads him to believe that all the children at school hate him. As a result, he clings to the only person who has ever given him attention and preferential treatment- Miss Finster. It is imperative that we carefully observe children who are very avoidant, distant and unhappy as the person whom they trust can really get them to do anything- and in the world we live in- those things aren’t usually legal. We clearly see this in Randall’s case as Miss Finster appoints him, Her Personal Snitch. At times, Randall hates his job, as the moment the children on the playground starts liking him, he must uphold his duties and be a good snitch which gets him even more disliked by some. Many persons in life who find it hard to achieve life’s milestones, resort to become ritualistic and responds only to people who gives them handouts.

Think about it… Can you identify with any of the characters?
Are you stuck in an unpleasant rut because you fear being alone? Are you contented with your friends because they provide you with something which makes you happy? Are a part of your clique because you share a number of similarities? Are you a part of your social circle to find self and build an identity? Are you a loner?

Just remember that even loners when exposed to too much solitude tend to end up depressed and as humans we are created as social beings. Whatever your reason for being in the group you hang out with, make sure it makes you happy, it fosters positive thinking and that you don’t lose yourself in the process.
Lets face it, it’s kinda special to be special!

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