Not every day is special

Gray Hughes

We have a whole slew of holidays coming up; don’t you know?

That’s right! According to, July 8 is National Freezer Pop Day! July 9 is Cow Appreciation Day! July 10 is National Kitten Day and National Pina Colada Day!

I could literally go on and on about how every day is a national something day.

Typically, I don’t know about these so-called “holidays” until I’m flipping through the radio when I’m out and about driving to an assignment (I only listen to stuff on my phone when I’m to and from work). To me, this begs the question: is every day deserving of a holiday?

Yes, I understand the purpose. Many of these holidays are commercially based. Take National Donut Day, for example.

On National Donut Day (which was June 5 this year), my favorite donut shop, Dunkin Donuts, gave out free donuts to those who have their app (side note: the Hills seriously needs a Dunkin). The purpose of this is to get people to come into their store and not only get a free donut but also, maybe, get a large cold brew coffee. Or a side of hash browns. Or a free donut, a regular price donut, large cold brew coffee and a side of hash browns all at the same time. (I’m speaking from experience here from National Donut Days of the past.)

Yes, National Donut Day is great. But do we seriously need a National Tape Measure Day July 14? Or a National Vinegar Day Nov. 1? Or National Something on a Stick Day March 28?

This, to me, brings to mind something brought up in one of my favorite movies from childhood: “The Incredibles.” In this movie, the bad guy (whose name is escaping me right now; cut me some slack. I haven’t seen the movie since I was, like, 12) is trying to make himself “super.” And he wants to make everyone super. Because once everyone is super “no one is super.”

That is a lesson I have taken with me everywhere I go. It comes up in other shows that I like, too. Take, for example, my favorite TV show of all time: “How I Met Your Mother.” I won’t bore you with the details, but in one episode one of the characters vows to make every night “legendary,” to which another character pointed out a flaw in his logic: if every night is “legendary,” then no nights are “legendary.”

This is an issue in our society. We try to make a celebration out of every day, out of every situation. Here’s my unbiased opinion: not every day needs to be a day to recognize something.

You may call me cranky. Maybe visions of Clint Eastwood in “Grand Torino” muttering “Get off my lawn!” to a group of kids comes to mind as you are reading this. But it’s something I truly believe. Not every day needs to be recognized for something. For a lack of a better way to put it, declaring something a “National Something Day” cheapens what a national day of recognition should be.

Here’s a little lesson: not everything is special. There’s nothing special about a mundane Tuesday in the beginning of March when it’s 40 degrees, windy, cloudy and there’s nothing going on. That day isn’t worthy of being celebrated, and you can’t make everything or every day worthy of being celebrated.

Yes, everyone is special and has their own unique qualities that make them worthy of celebrating. This isn’t really applying to people because, as you know, most people have a day dedicated to celebrating just them: their birthdays. But we don’t celebrate someone’s birthday all year, right? Right — because, if we did, then it would no longer be special. (Yes, there are other days to be celebrated, too, like graduations and anniversaries, but pipe down with your logic; I’m trying to make a point here.)

You can probably blame me and my fellow millennials for this issue, that everything needs to be celebrated. We were given participation trophies from a very early age, and that put into the head of my fellow millennials that just merely showing up is worthy of a trophy. It was a lesson that I believed as a kid — that is, until I met Coach Tom Brown.

Many die-hard Green Bay Packers fans may know the name; he was on the team during the 1960s, playing under legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Brown even helped seal the Packer’s victory in the 1966 NFL Title Game by picking off Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith in the end zone in the final minute of the game.

Coach Brown ran the baseball and basketball leagues I was in as a kid. In my first year, my baseball team won the championship. But when my team won, we didn’t get a trophy. In fact, we didn’t get anything special other than a “good job” from Coach Brown. As a young 11-year-old, I was confused. I thought: “I did something good, therefore I deserved a trophy.”

But, looking back at it, I am thankful he didn’t give me a trophy. Winning for the sake of winning was reward enough. And he didn’t give out participation trophies, either. His philosophy was you should play for the love of the game and — get this — not everything deserved a trophy.

This is a lesson I have carried with me to this day. Not everything is deserving of being special. Not everything needs a trophy. And every day doesn’t need to be a national day of celebration.

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