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Forum: Is Everyone Special?

Every Saturday we meet to discuss a topic decided upon the previous week. These are topics of humanist interest, from a humanist perspective. The topic of the discussion will be decided in a prior meeting, usually two weeks in advance.

This week’s topic is: “Is Everyone Special?” by HAT member Paul Kaplan. _______________________

“You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There’s never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again. Only you. And people can like you exactly as you are.”
“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”
Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers taught generations of children (and adults) that each of us is special exactly as we are. Some of his critics claimed that children who grew up with this idea became adults who felt entitled.

Questions for discussion:

– What do you take away from the above quotes?
– Is the idea that we are each special exactly as we are, a humanist idea?
– Is there any merit to the argument that feeling special as a child leads
to feeling entitled as an adult?
– Fred Rogers was on ordained Presbyterian minister. How does his
teaching that each of us is special, exactly as we are, compare with the
traditional Christian teaching that we are all fallen sinners in need of
– Fred Rogers taught children with songs and puppets. How can his
message that we can be loved exactly as we are be communicated to
– How does feeling special, exactly as we are, affect us as members of
– How does feeling special, exactly as we are, affect attitudes towards
other people?

Meet our diverse group, trade perspectives in a free and open forum and learn from others as they learn from you!

BTW: don’t be concerned if there are not many RSVP’s. Many HAT members attend regularly but don’t sign up on Meetup. Our online meetings have been very popular with 20-30 attendees.

NOTE: The HAT Forum adheres strictly to the City of Toronto Policy on Non-Discrimination (

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