You Are Special

12 05 2009

Punchinello

 

Came across a delightful little story by the inspirational author Max Lucado the other day (while browsing aimlessly online). It’s almost like a children’s story – which only adds to its appeal (did you ever get told bedtime stories as a child?).

The story is about a little wooden person called Punchinello. Actually he’s not really a person, but a “Wemmick” (think of Noddy and you might be on the right track). Wemmicks spend their days giving stickers: golden stars to “good Wemmicks” and dots to “not-so-good Wemmicks.” Punchinello becomes covered in dots because he stumbles and has scratches, he can’t jump high or do any tricks. As he is becoming discouraged though, he meets a Wemmick that has no stars or dots on her. She tells him about Eli, the woodcarver, and how Punchinello should visit him. Eli explains to Punchinello that the stars and dots stick only if you let them. He further explains that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, because He, the Maker, thinks Punchinello is special. He’s special because Eli made him. Punchinello begins to believe Eli, and as he does, a dot falls to the ground.

The idea of this story is that we are all different and unique, and yet we are all special because we have all been created in God’s image. I love it! You are special – you are different to everyone else on this planet, and you are different for a purpose! You were placed in this point in history, in this place (geographically), and in this environment (socially, your family etc). You have been given a unique combination of abilities, experiences, personality and potential that no-one else has! Don’t worry about what other people (“Wemmicks”) think – only ask, what are you going to DO with the life you’ve been given?

Enjoy the story – read it like a kid, and let it make you smile.

– Quinton

**

You Are Special

-by Max Lucado

The Wemmicks were small wooden people. Each of the wooden people was carved by a woodworker named Eli. His workshop sat on a hill overlooking their village.

Every Wemmick was different. Some had big noses; others had large eyes. Some were tall and others were short. Some wore hats; others wore coats. But all were made by the same carver and all lived in the village. And all day; every day; the Wemmicks did the same thing: They gave each other stickers.

Each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and a box of gray dot stickers. Up and down the streets all over the city; people could be seen sticking stars or dots on one another.; The pretty ones; those with smooth wood and fine paint; always got stars. But if the wood was rough or the paint chipped; the Wemmicks gave dots. The talented ones got stars; too. Some could lift big sticks high above their heads or jump over tall boxes. Still others knew big words or could sing very pretty songs. Everyone gave them stars.; Some Wemmicks had stars all over them! Every time they got a star it made them feel so good that they did something else and got another star.

Others; though; could do little. They got dots.; Punchinello was one of these. He tried to jump high like the others; but he always fell. And when he fell; the others would gather around and give him dots. Sometimes when he fell; it would scar his wood; so the people would give him more dots. He would try to explain why he fell and say something silly; and the Wemmicks would give him more dots. After a while he had so many dots that he didn’t want to go outside. He was afraid he would do something dumb such as forget his hat or step in the water; and then people would give him another dot. In fact; he had so many gray dots that some people would come up and give him one without reason. “He deserves lots of dots; ” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.”

After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick; ” he would say. The few times he went outside; he hung around other Wemmicks who had a lot of dots. He felt better around them.

One day he met a Wemmick who was unlike any he’d ever met. She had no dots or stars. She was just wooden. Her name was Lucia. It wasn’t that people didn’t try to give her stickers; it’s just that the stickers didn’t stick. Some admired Lucia for having no dots; so they would run up and give her a star. But it would fall off. Some would look down on her for having no stars; so they would give her a dot. But it wouldn’t stay either.

‘That’s the way I want to be; ‘thought Punchinello. ‘I don’t want anyone’s marks.’ So he asked the stickerless Wemmick how she did it. “It’s easy; ” Lucia replied. “every day I go see Eli.”

“Eli?”

“Yes; Eli. The woodcarver. I sit in the workshop with him.”

“Why?”

“Why don’t you find out for yourself? Go up the hill. He’s there.”

And with that the Wemmick with no marks turned and skipped away. “But he won’t want to see me!” Punchinello cried out. Lucia didn’t hear. So Punchinello went home. He sat near a window and watched the wooden people as they scurried around giving each other stars and dots. “It’s not right; ” he muttered to himself. And he resolved to go see Eli.

He walked up the narrow path to the top of the hill and stepped into the big shop. His wooden eyes widened at the size of everything. The stool was as tall as he was. He had to stretch on his tiptoes to see the top of the workbench. A hammer was as long as his arm. Punchinello swallowed hard. “I’m not staying here!” and he turned to leave. Then he heard his name.

“Punchinello?”

The voice was deep and strong. Punchinello stopped.

“Punchinello! How good to see you. Come and let me have a look at you.” Punchinello turned slowly and looked at the large bearded craftsman. “You know my name?” the little Wemmick asked. “Of course I do. I made you.”

Eli stooped down and picked him up and set him on the bench. “Hmm; ” the maker spoke thoughtfully as he inspected the gray circles. “Looks like you’ve been given some bad marks.” “I didn’t mean to; Eli. I really tried hard.” “Oh; you don’t have to defend yourself to me; child. I don’t care what the other Wemmicks think.”

“You don’t?” “No – and you shouldn’t either. Who are they to give stars or dots?; They’re Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn’t matter; Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special.”

Punchinello laughed. “Me; special? Why? I can’t walk fast. I can’t jump. My paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?”; Eli looked at Punchinello; put his hands on those small wooden shoulders; and spoke very slowly.

“Because you’re mine. That’s why you matter to me.”

Punchinello had never had anyone look at him like this–much less his maker. He didn’t know what to say.; “Every day I’ve been hoping you’d come; ” Eli explained.; “I came because I met someone who had no marks.”

 “I know. She told me about you.”

“Why don’t the stickers stay on her?” “Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them.”  “What?” “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love; the less you care about the stickers.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

 “You will; but it will take time. You’ve got a lot of marks. For now; just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.” Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on the ground. “Remember” Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the door. “You are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”

Punchinello didn’t stop; but in his heart he thought; “I think he really means it.” And when he did; a dot fell to the ground.

May all your dots fall silently to the ground; for if given by man; they matter only to other men; if given by the Gods; no one questions the scars that make up our lives. You are wanted – you are loved. And you are not an accident.

When given the choice; pass out stars; drop the dots in the trash.

Max Lucado

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3 responses

12 05 2009
love chic

If we think everybody is special, can we really see anyone special as special? If we love everybody, can we truly love anyone but ourselves? As long as we are individualistic and in our bubble all the others are just the same, but in maturity lies ability to create communities. Is that ok; is it all good to rely and be dependent on a few, perhaps on just one? Or should every person always have equal value to you? If so, can you really value? The risk with loving everyone is that you only truly love yourself and see people as “people”, as you were seeing them from above. Is inequality still ok? Not sure. But want to believe in duality.

Like now. Do I see you as special for writing special things or for making me feel special since I am awakening thoughts and grow – as me? Are you just a tool for my development or special for who you are?

What is love? Giving a starving man a fish or teaching him how to catch the fish himself?

12 05 2009
Quinton McCauley

The statement “You are unique – just like everybody else” appears self-contradictory, but is in fact a truth. It may be a paradox, but it remains true.

The universal value of human life is a concept we all hold to. It’s a tragedy that “1000 Ugandan lives equate to 10 American lives” on the stage of world media – we inherently know this is wrong. So rationally we declare that every human being is of “equal value”. The paradox is that the concept of equal value supports (rather than debunks) the concept of each person being special (tied to their uniqueness).

I would suggest that perhaps while everyone is of equal value as a human being, and everyone is indeed unique (and therefore special), our love of others is naturally influenced by our experience of their value through our interaction with them. And this is fine. Family members and close friends – the people in the community we find ourselves in or choose to create – will be dearer to our heart than the man across the street, or the postie we see in the afternoons. This is the truth of our human experience.

However the other aspect to our experience can be a growing awareness of the value of each and every person we come across – that they too, are special and have a purpose (even if this does not directly cross our own life path). Many people in this world fail to see this, and lose their sense of their own value and realisation that they can do great things. With our growing awareness of this, it can only make our world a better place to encourage sadder souls and reflect the light of our knowledge onto those who don’t know any better.

🙂

12 05 2009
love chic

True,

Our biology is also creating stronger feelings of speciality with people we hang out with. When we touch we create the hormone oxytocin which makes us like each other more. Put that info in the light of the fact that we live in the time of social media where we sprinkle the world with xxx but never really get to be physical beings.

Every individual is of course of high value and has great potential. Collecitivistic theories like utilitarism or socialism is not on my agenda either. We are seeds, but people who does not seek either water or sun – or get over protected – stay in the seed or bud state, avoiding the pain of bursting, changing, developing.

Your blog is water, you are sun. In your shine I’m a flower 🙂

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