Self-esteem has become difficult in a densely-populated world where corporate advertising largely controls the public sense of value. Wal-Mart tells you to be frugal, Tifanny's tells you to be classy, and the Westboro Baptist Church tells you that you'll suck no matter what. In response to this, schools, authors, and artists everywhere have launched a campaign celebrating the value of the individual. They proclaim to each of us, "You are special."
This is a lie.
Take all of your best qualities and list them. Take your worst. Make as complete a profile of yourself as possible. Do you think you could find someone who is equivalent in every category, except that he or she is distinctly better in one area? If you answer "no," then you are delusional, which is just one more negative thing about you.
Granted, you are a cynic. That means you have at least a basic awareness of the world around you and have put actual thought into your picture of reality. This places you at above-average, probably. But even if you were in the 70th percentile, that's still 30% of the world that is above you. That, my friend, is roughly 2 billion people. You are not special.
However, all in not lost. Do you know what happens to special people?
Special People are Murdered!
Those who stand out in society are automatic targets for the attention-seeking wackos that are ubiquitous in our society. Not only that, if they happen to be smart special people, they become the targets of Fox News.
So the key to living is to embrace mediocrity. Know that no one would bother breaking into your house, because you're not rich or privy to any big secrets! It's comforting!
In addition, if you are mediocre, basically nothing is your fault. Most of the bad in the world can probably be divided among the particularly evil, the particularly stupid, and the particular person known as Glenn Beck. The little that is left over is so small that, divided among you and all of the other people making up the big hump of the bell curve, you need not take on any meaningful blame!
Remember, when you say something you regret to a friend, that you are not special, and neither is your friend. Why bother worrying about it?
It's time to put your personal fable on the shelf, grab life by the crap you consider your most valuable possessions, and stop worrying about contributing meaningfully to society!
Even if a butterfly flapping it's wings in China could create a tornado in Nashville (which would be the best thing ever to happen), most of the butterflies in China will flap their wings and have no significant effect on world weather patterns. And then be eaten by bats.