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Being Outnumbered - A Scary Reality

Updated on April 13, 2014

One of a kind

Stuart Miles @
Stuart Miles @

Humans' instinctive fear of being one-of-a-kind

This video of a boy conveying tremendous disappointment that his third sibling is again a girl, when he wanted a brother with all of his heart, is indisputable proof of a human’s instinctive fear of being one-of-a-kind.

Embedded in our collective memory is the knowledge that we will not be able to survive without the support of those like us. "The more we are, the stronger we are," is such an instinctive belief that we will, as a baby, die when locked up alone even while being fed by a machine, and we will, as children, team up with any others that may make us stronger and more able to cope with the onslaughts of life.

Contemplating One-of-a-kind

Being one-of-a-kind is not the same as being an individual with a unique personality. We are all individuals; each of us has our own, unique personality and physical appearance, yet we are part of a specific group and even of more than one group.

This hub is about being a distinct individual, clearly outlined and outnumbered.

Being the only boy among girls, or the only girl among boys, or being one-of-a-kind in any group, makes us feel insecure, vulnerable and unsupported. This feeling motivates us to acquire skills, characteristics and habits of all sorts that can give us the strength, or at least the feeling of power we need to stand up for ourselves.

Acquiring repelling skills, characteristics and habits, such as superbia or arrogance, seems to be like grabbing the ugliest and most stinky harness in a world occupied by monsters. When we keep in mind that too many people, especially children, are insensitive and eager to bully and abuse the odd-one-out, we cannot blame the one-of-a-kind for developing without even realizing a repelling defense mechanism. However, in a one-of-a-kind position most of us will rather find solace in solitude, and before we realize the consequences we are loners not able to achieve our potential goals.

The Only Child Syndrome

When we contemplate the “only child syndrome”, we will be able to comprehend the ‘only boy/girl syndrome, and/or the only male/female syndrome, or for that matter even the ‘only intellect-, or only fool-, or only comic syndrome. The ‘only child syndrome’ is often also detectable in a child with siblings much older or younger than they.

Being the only child among adults compels us to acquire all kinds of skills and habits - anything we need - to stand up for ourselves against adults.

Developing an impressive vocabulary and persuasive acts that will turn an adult’s views in our favour, is obviously the first we do. At the same time this vocabulary will be beyond the comprehension of our peers, and our persuasive acts will be perceived as manipulative and repelling. Then we try to compensate by acquiring a vocabulary and manoeuvres that may impress our peers, not realizing that we may be perceived as silly, profane, or simply weird according to normal standards. Unless we bond with another one-of-a-kind, we find ourselves alienated by the time we are teenagers. Then the realisation comes natural, that our only salvation lies in biting our tongue and allowing our own thoughts and views to ensure us that we are on the right track.

Eventually, in adulthood, the only child (or boy-among-girls, girl-among-boys) has a distinct one-of-a-kind personality, which may be either attractive or repelling.

Freedom to develop selfishness to a level of loathsome egoism is one of the most dangerous pitfalls on the path of an only child. Parents are compelled to go out of their way to inspire their only child to share their belongings. Encouraging their only child to develop the capacity to tolerate unfavourable conditions seems to be a challenge beyond comprehension. Therefore In adulthood the selfishness of an only child becomes the cause of immense unhappiness for the only child as well as for the people who are compelled to live and work with them.

Although a need for a large personal space and time to be alone is not unique in the only child, they tend to see this need as their right and not as their privilege. Claiming this right in adulthood discourages rewarding friendships and relationships and eventually the only child has to deal with feelings of rejection and loneliness.

Humans are not born with a desire to be one-of-a-kind, but they are quite able to acquire characteristics, habits and skills that will enable them to stand up to life like any other person on this planet.

Oscar Pistorius

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

And this brings me to Oscar Pistorius -

On Valentines Day, 2013, Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend. According to his testimony he had mistaken her for a burglar.

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius was born in South Africa on 22 November 1986 with a deficiency called fibular hemimelia - a congenital absence of the fibula. At the age of 11 months both his legs were amputated halfway between the knees and ankles. Although he had an older brother and a younger sister, he was the only one who had to walk with prostheses, which made him one-of-kind in his personal world.

By the time he was 15, when his mother died, he had already obtained habits and skills that enabled him to stand up for himself like any other teenager. One most admirable characteristic he developed was an extraordinary determination to surpass himself and to rise far above his circumstances.

Like any normal boy he participated in sports and eventually became a Paralympics champion. He even became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. His achievements as an athlete had turned him into a legend.

One of Oscar Pistorius's most impressive motto’s: "You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have."

Then, on 14 February 2013, at the age of 26, he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, four times through a closed door. She was sitting on the toilet, behind a locked door, and Oscar allegedly thought she was a burglar.

Reeva Steenkamp, the talented South African model and reality TV star on the brink of international fame had lost her life due to one impulsive, irresponsible, and perhaps intentional, act of a one-of-a-kind hero, and Oscar Pistorius, the famous one-of-a-kind hero, lost his hero-ship and became a murderer in only a couple of seconds. .

According to my perspective this is a horrendous tragedy that could happen to any one-of-a-kind person, but also to any person who had acquired dangerous habits and intentions in their quest for self-sustainment.

Oscar sticks to his story – that he had mistaken Reeva for a burglar. But even so, he had displayed his fear of being one-of-a-kind – the fear that had inspired him to achieve phenomenal success. He had also displayed many of the dangerous skills/habits he had acquired in his quest for success, and in particular the one being coveted by people who feel outnumbered, unsupported and vulnerable: A paranoid dependency on guns with no hesitation to pull the trigger in order to assure themselves AND others that they can stand up for themselves in all circumstances.


Being one-of-a-kind, outnumbered, is a dangerous state of being we instinctively fear. In this state of being we feel insecure, vulnerable and unsupported, and therefore we are more inclined to acquire unusual skills, characteristics and habits. Firstly to overcome our fear, which may lie unidentified in our physiological system, and secondly to stand up against others and against life with all its unpredicted onslaughts.

Knowing ourselves and what instigates our doings and neglect may prevent us from ruining our future in one act of impulse.

Watch this video and learn more about human behaviour -

  © Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser | Source

© 2014 Martie Coetser


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    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      someonewhoknows, you reminded me of the saying: "Be yourself, because nobody else can be you." I love your word play - con-vince :)

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 3 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      There is only one of each of us ! Is , it any wonder why any of us are out numbered

      We can con-vince other's to think like we do. But, not completely!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      poetryman, I agree with you - being one of a kind does not always end in tragedy. Keep in mind that being the odd-one-out doesn't begin and end with physical appearances. It is about feelings, vibes, the atmosphere. If we don't feel that we belong, we feel and behave like the odd one out.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Fortunately this one-of-a-kind thing does not always end in tragedy.

      One of the oddest instances of it that I have observed was not tragic at all. Just interesting. I was listening to a Caucasian guy who had worked in Hawaii for years. He reported that once he got back to the mainland, the first time he was at work in a room full of Caucasian people he felt uncomfortable. He had gotten so used to working almost exclusively with people who were not white that he was initially uncomfortable when he had to work in a situation where most were.

      Steve Martin has a silly line in a movie wherein his character says: I was born a poor, black child....

      It is fairly natural for humans to relate with the people they surround themselves with every day. A corollary to this says that you should always surround yourself with hardworking, successful people if that is what you wish to become.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Shyron, I am really trying my best to understand and justify Pistorius's actions. A bizarre video recently released on Australian television of him demonstrating the tragedy, did not clear my doubts. I've been wondering why Reeva had locked the door, and why didn't she shout - "Beware, Oscar, I am in the toilet! Please don't shoot in my direction!" I also believe that the mere fact that he pulled the trigger 4 times with the intention to kill a POSSIBLE threat he could not see, but only 'perceive', is legally more than enough evidence for incarceration. After all, an impulsive act like this surely labels a person as 'a threat to the community'. Oh, and then I can't help but feeling sorry for him. Only one wrong decision has changed his entire future. It is hard to imagine him behind bars among hard criminals.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Jo! Sadly the opposite - being invisible in a bunch - can also end up in a tragedy. The middle-child syndrome, etc. We can't win, can we? Thanks for your vote :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Hi Martie, I think it is fun to be unique (u-nee-q). As far as Pistorius is concerned, I don't think a burgler would break in to use his bathroom. Maybe Pistorius thought because of his abilities/disabilities he could kill and say anything and people would believe and some probably would.

      Thumbs up on this and sharing.


    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      This is really thought provoking. I really enjoyed reading this.

      Thank you for sharing this detailed explanation and a sad back story of how a "one of a kind", ended up being part of every day tragedy and just like so many who lose their way. Shared this and voted up for awesome, useful, interesting.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      fpher, oh, I certainly recall those days. My life seemed to be like a shooting star. We are on the same page relative to Oscar. In a couple of minutes he had destroyed his entire present and future, AND the life of a beautiful, young woman. I am sure he regrets every move he had made on that specific night. And now he is all alone, suffering the consequences. Even the love and the support of his closest friends cannot relieve him from the results of his irresponsible actions. Yes-yes, anyone can make a wrong decision, all of us can commit a terrible crime in a moment of insanity - for example, skipping a traffic light for some or the other reason - but at the end we have to give account and take the punishment, including criticism and regrets. Hugs to you, Paula. I am looking forward to your next hub :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Martie......I should tell you, I am never in a hurry....LOL....quite the contrary. I spent my adult life, RUSH,rush,, there & every where with raising 4 was always something. (You recall those days I'm sure!)

      When the last of my brood left the nest......this Mama made a vow to herself......So never fear, you cannot be "late" in my book. I enjoy chatting with you at any time.

      There's a part of me that "feels" for poor dear Oscar. He has blown his life and all his wonderful achievements to bits. What can possibly be his future life? and all for what, Martie?

      However, there is a price to pay and the debt of wrong-doing to fulfill which society demands. There comes the time in our life when one can no longer be picked up by loved ones, brush off their "boo-boos" & send them on their merry way. Mothers will always want desperately to do this, won't we?

      In this case, a young, lovely and vibrant woman is gone. Sadly, it appears that Oscar is fully responsible. The outcome will be tragic no matter which way it goes.........Hugs, GF.....Paula

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      My dear fpher, I am so-so sorry you had to wait 5 days for my reply. Don't let me bore you with all my excuses. I am curious to hear the results of Oscar's psycho-analysis. I hope you are fine, girlfriend, and not stuck in the swamps of exhaustion like I.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nell...thanks for asking about Pistorius and Martie, I appreciate the update. I had lost track. What a story!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Nell, Pistorius has been sent for psychological observation of 4 weeks to determine if he is/was suffering an anxiety disorder. If this is/was the case, he could be found guilty with extenuating circumstances. His advocate was against this ruling, as the plead is 'not guilty'. The trial will continue in a week or two. (I forgot the date!) Always good to see you in my corner, Nell :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Martie, came back for another read, I wonder what happened to the Pistorias case? it seems to have dwindled out? voted this up and shared! nell

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Jason! I am so glad you agree with my perspective on an only child, or the one being outnumbered in his circumstances. We are certainly also on the same page regarding Oscar and his demons. When I put myself in his shoes - fearing possible danger behind a closed door, I will not get myself so far to shoot at random through the door. I need to be sure what I am doing and to whom I am doing it. He should have phoned security; he could have warned the "burglar" in the toilet - "Open the door, and I WILL shoot you!" is what he could have said while he was waiting for the authorities to take care of the problem. It is hard to accept the death of a lovely young woman like Reeva, HARD to know that she was killed by a man with issues he had turned into an obsession with guns and fast cars. Have a good day, Jason :)

    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Greetings Martie, well this makes sense to me now, had I read this before your sibling hub, I would have gained more insight in how you grasp only-children. Quiet right, you did describe how I grew up, developing a vocabulary that left many of my peers looking at me funny. It would be interesting to be able to watch the little boy in the video, as he grows up and how he adapts to his situation. I hope he becomes a protector for his sisters.

      Regarding Oscar, I do not want to dive into a huge gun debate, yet from what I know and how one with above average intelligence handles weapons, this guy is as guilty as they get. I had not known the details, as soon as I read she was behind the door in the bathroom, all flags pointing to premeditated went off in my mind. Poor Oscar certainly has his demons. Pride is a cruel and cold master to live with…

      I love your writing style, your topics are very interesting and they reach out to a broader audience. Cheers.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Rebecca, I think there is a significant difference between being unique and being different. Even while we strive to be unique we don't want to be different. If we can't find a match, we become lonesome and depressed and consequently develop weird self-defense mechanisms. Thanks for your profound comment :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Audrey, so well stressed: If we stick out we become the prey of all kinds of bullies. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Minnetonka Twin, I tend to a agree with the opinion of a local psychologist: Oscar is crying for himself, for the terrible mistake he had made, for ruining his own reputation, for facing a bleak future.... He demonstrate regret, but not remorse. I bet he doesn't blame himself and will always justify his behavior with all kinds of excuses. Yes, the father in the video should have kept his personal expectation for himself, because the consequences of revealing it can only be negative. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great topic, and a well written hub. Sometimes it takes guts to be different...and then there is the saying "there is strength in numbers!"

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Very interesting write! We are hard wired as social animals--and and fitting in is necessary for survival --if we stick out we can become easy prey for that saber tooth down the way--

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I found this article really intriguing-I love anything psychological. Such a sad story about Oscar killing his girlfriend. If you watch the trial, he is often bawling his eyes out and it's hard to watch. I almost think he believes his lie that he thought it was a burglar. The video with the little boy crying is also heart breaking. I was surprised the dad admitted to his kids that he was hoping for a boy too. A slippery slope indeed. Great hub my friend. Sharing this-voted up and hit many buttons.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Genna, I find all human complexes extremely interesting. Every individual develop a unique set of them, like fingerprints...... The similarities are obvious, yet never identical.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I agree with Marie in that this is a fascinating topic and one that I really had not considered before. The Watkins video is very interesting. I also think about the complex sometimes associated with certain children who are ”the middle child.” I haven’t been following the Pistorius trial, but I agree with your analysis about this “one-of-a-kind hero.” A very interesting hub, Martie. Voted up ++.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      @ vocalcoach – At a time, while I was listening to Oscar’s evidence, I remember a rat that was once trapped in my bedroom. We closed the door in order to prevent it from escaping to another part of the house. In its efforts to escape the broom we were using to nail him down, it kept on jumped up against the door, about 24 inches straight up in the air, apparently hoping it would be able to jump over the door. And all the time it was squealing like a baby in great distress. Oscar is in great distress. He act like that rat, realizing the danger of the situation. I do believe he regrets his impulsive action, shooting through a door at a person who could obviously not escape any bullets. But being who he is, he sticks to his fabricated version of the truth. I find this trial extremely depressing, but I must also add that the majority of homicides in South Africa are much-much crueler and more gruesome, especially the hate crimes rooted in racism.

      @ epigramman – We are all unique, but somehow the only-child seems to be more unique, each in their own way. As if the influence of the parents is concentrated (instead of diluted) in them and therefore more powerful. But we also get the eldest, middle, and youngest child syndrome – and I am suffering the eldest child syndrome for sure... :) Thanks for the Canadian hugs. In return I am sending you warm, sunny South African hugs.

      @ suzettenaples – I, too, cannot see him recover from all of this. Reeva’s death will forever be between him and everybody else, like the door that was between him and Reeva. Only those who will be willing to break through the door will be able to interact with him – with the true him. And then there will be those who see him as a generator of money. Really, I am not condemning him, but I do see in my crystal ball a very bleak future for him. Hopefully (for his own sake) he will meet a sole mate who will be able to love him unconditionally. Love heals all wounds and enables us to outgrow our shortcomings.

      @ Hackslap – I know the most wonderful one-of-a-kind people - friends who were in some way or the other outnumbered during their childhood. But oh, I also knew the dark type, extremely selfish and self-centred, totally unable to love anybody but themselves - people who had proven to me that even their love for their closest relatives (parents) is self-centered. They have all brought me to the conclusion that the parents of a one-of-a-kind child determine the character and personality of such a child. On the other hand, children become adults in spite of their parents. So, in our genes must be an x-factor that urges us to become who we eventually are. Good to know that you have settled in a country where you are free to be your true self. BTW, I said I KNEW the dark type, because for quite a long time now I don’t cherish those snakes in my bosom.

      @ Faith Reaper – Oh, meanness was also a little monster in my middle sister – helping her to stand up for herself against all who were older than she, and especially against me. In adulthood she merely doesn’t allow it to function. My second sister has a very submissive and endearing personality. Stubbornness – the speechless type - made her strong enough to keep me on my side of the room. While I, as the oldest, have a dictator in my psyche who loves to jump out like a jack out of his box. (I am constantly trying to keep him in his box). My youngest brother has a happy-go-lucky spirit in him; somehow adversaries just don’t get to his soul, and if it does, he has a way to keep it down. The oldest brother have the same syndrome than I, perhaps because our father wanted us to be leaders, setting the appropriate standard for the others to follow. The influence of siblings on each other is quite amazing – and very much beyond parents’ control.

      Thanks a lot for all the happiness you have wished me. I’ve had an extraordinary wonderful day, thanks to Barend and all the wonderful people in my life, including my online friends.

      Maria’s hub was the cherry on my cake -

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Martie,

      We did have our share of sibling rivalry, if that is what you to call it? LOL My middle sister, well since there are four of us, not sure she would be a middle, but I remember she was a bit ornery at times and flat-out mean. Now, as an adult, I asked her why she was so mean, and she said she did not know. As adults we are the same as you describe with your siblings.

      Regardless of your mother's love, I believe you are very special and deserve the best in this life. I am glad you did not shoot your ex : )

      Yes, the outcome of Oscar's trial will certainly be interesting to find out.

      Hugs and Happy Birthday again. I do hope it is the best one ever!

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Im an only child and have also been rather 'different' than my peers was one of the reasons why I left my home country and emigrated to Australia 10 years ago .. (where I was actually accepted and loved than being bullied) .. being one of a kind certainly has its disadvantages but its exactly what can make you stronger and 'special' ..a person people eventually do look up to because of your uniqueness .. .today I'm successful and have many friends ..all who tell me "Dont ever change"

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Martie: This is a fascinating look at human behavior from the little boy to Oscar Pistorious. I enjoyed reading this piece. I have followed Oscar's trial some, and my heart goes out to every one involved. I think Oscar would feel vulnerable with no legs and I don't blame him for having a gun under his bed. This is a tragedy that I don't think be will ever recover from no matter if he is found guilty or innocent of intentional murder.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Gee Martie I definitely feel like one of a kind in the way I write and I was an only child too. You are definitely a one of a kind too in the way you think and write - thank you for unique views and presentation and always a hallmark is your world class writing. Sending big Canadian hugs to you from Colin and the cats on Monday evening at 8:13pm and we are now in springtime here but guess what one more day of snow is on its way tomorrow as the temperatures are dipping below freezing overnight. I am okay and I hope you and Mister B are both happy, safe and healthy

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Martie ~ This is an article that every human being should read. I'll do my part by making sure it is shared throughout the internet. I pulled out my 'thinking cap' on this one. You've written about the difference between being unique and one-of-a-kind. I got it Martie! I feel so darn good that I've learned this difference. You've opened the door and brought in the light!

      Marvelous! Magnificent!

      I now have a whole new feeling about Pistorias. Whether he is guilty or not - he is truly one-of-a-kind. is this hub. Thank you so very much my Martie ~ Audrey

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Nell, we are certainly on the same page. His behaviour in court is also intriguing. Can't help but remember the behaviour of a con-artist I once knew for a couple of months. Some people - especially con-artists - have the ability to put on an act that can confuse a genius. They can lie so hard, they believe themselves. Honestly, I am glad I am not the judge. I think she will reject all speculations and stick to the law, which demands indisputable evidences. Thanks for the visit :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Fascinating read Martie, I never thought about Pistorias like that, of course he would feel vulnerable, and thats why he got 'trigger happy' as we say over here, do I think he is guilty? of course! Do I feel for him for being 'Outnumbered' ? yes I do. Funnily enough, I am the only girl left in my family, so its not the same really as being born that way, but I do feel 'out of place' sometimes, great hub Martie!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      DDE – Let’s hope, without any revengeful thoughts, that justice prevails. Killing others is wrong; we cannot justify murder, unless those others are trying to kill us. Obviously, Reeva was not trying to kill Oscar. Mistaken her for a burglar? What burglar will lock himself up in a toilet where he could be trapped by the police, or killed when he dare to show his face? Let’s face it, Oscar’s actions did not match his intelligence. I do believe that the only foot he has to stand on is Paranoia... but I don’t think he will pass the test.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      PegCole17 – You have a point. Fame can have a devastating effect on any normal person, one-of-a-kind or not. For some reason the famous tend to believe that they deserve only admiration and respect. They really find it difficult to cope with rejection – and they so easily hide their fear of rejection with arrogance. Pondering....

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      AliciaC - You are a keen biologist, and I envy you. Plants, animals and all organisms except humans are so much more interesting and predictable. People can drive an inquisitive mind crazy. Thanks for your visit.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Dear Faith Reaper – When I was a child I always wanted a brother. I was an adventurer - loved to rush in where girls fear to tread. So, I have missed most of the fun you have had. I have a sister two years younger than I, another sister six years younger. My two brothers are eight and ten years younger than I. I was more of a nanny to my brothers than a sister. Their childhood memories of me are quite shocking: Me hitting them with a broom because they were running the dirt I was sweeping out of the house back into the house. Me hitting them with a wet facecloth because they were splashing in the bath and got water all over the floor. And so forth in the same vein. But as adults we are all very fond and proud of each other.

      Another reason why I try to understand (and justify) Oscar’s behavior: I was born with club feet. If it was not for successful surgery, I would have been compelled to walk with braces. My legs never bothered me – I could walk as normal as any other child. I was even a champion sprinter during the first half of primary school (5-8 years old). But then I became a teenager, realizing that I don’t have well-developed calves and pretty feet. To make a long story short: I have a pretty good idea of the inferior complex Oscar must have had until he proved himself as a champion to the world. Keeping his male ego in mind, I can comprehend his feelings towards Reeva and his fear of losing her. (But shooting her is totally beyond my comprehension! I never thought of shooting my ex when losing him became a possibility. While he, when the table eventually turned, wanted to shoot me. This makes me ponder about the affect of a mother’s love. My mother never pampered me; I had no special privileges; In fact, I was taught to be the less important - to regard the happiness of others as more important than mine..... Oh, generalizing will bring us nowhere. Lol!)

      BTW, I have a son and a daughter, two-and-a-half years apart. Not one of them was ever ‘outnumbered’. So they can’t have an idea what it must be like to be one-of-a-kind.

      I am curious to learn the outcome of Oscar’s trial, and I am very glad I am not the judge.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      mckbirdbks – Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. The behaviour of people is a riddle. Generalizing is actually never possible when it comes to humans. We can but only speculate. I hope Oscar is taking tranquillizers at night; in his shoes I would not be able to sleep.

      At this moment I am listening to the trial. According to the holes in the door Reeva must have STOOD behind the locked door, most probably talking to Oscar.

      Whatever, I have no idea how he is going to live for the rest of his life with her death on his conscience.

      But then, what about all the murderers on this planet? Somehow they all find a way to justify their deeds. Our own mind has a way to convince us that our actions and neglects were justified.

      This trial is so damn depressing, and yet, I want to know every detail. WTH?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub! I have been following the trial from day one and hope it all goes in his favor it however very difficult to get to the point of will actually be in this case. I like the introduction you certainly found you way around this title.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This was fascinating, Martie. The way you've woven current events in with your major point is seamless. The Oscar Pistorius trial has bothered me on a number of levels. I believe these "one-of-a-kind" personalities are being manufactured as a result of stardom as well. Some act as though they are beyond the law because of their specialness or fame.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is yet another very interesting and thought provoking hub, Martie. I was shocked to hear about the Oscar Pistorius situation, which I was unaware of. I'll be watching the news closely now!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Interesting perspective, Martie ... I almost thought this to be one of your perspective hubs, as you have presented your perspective so well here, as always.

      Oh, my goodness, Martie, that little sweet boy wanting a brother so much ... and so very disappointed, my heart went out to him. It seems he had already made up his mind that no matter what, he was going to have a brother. I am sure his parents were very surprised about his heartbreak. I just know, he will go out and make a lot of best buddies as friends and be just fine. I am the oldest of my three siblings, then my one brother ( a year younger than I am), and two younger sisters. My brother is the best brother around anyone can hope for and he never verbally said anything about wanting a brother. LOL He is a Planetary Geologist, Ph.D. and has had a few books published, very scientific minded, but very lovable too. As Paula said, he had put my younger sisters and I up to helping him to do his bidding ... building go-carts and the like, and we loved it. I remember building tree forts and such too, it was so much fun having a brother to help do those things that sisters would not dream of ... he made childhood so fun like an adventure for sure.

      My son, has two young daughters and a son now, but they are all so close in age, I do not think his son, my grandson, knows what a brother is, as he just adores his sisters, especially his oldest sister, who sings to him since the day he was born. He just laughs and is joyful all the time ... for the moment LOL

      Holding stuff in is just not good at all. It is so healthy, I believe, to just let it all out and be done with it and move on. If one does not, then after years and years of holding in one's emotions ... watch out!!! Yikes!

      As far as Oscar, I am not one to judge, but he is obviously guilty : ) ... I mean ... well ... enough said!

      Up and more, pinning, tweeting and sharing.


      I hope your week is lovely.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie. What an interesting interweaving of general informaton applied to a specific and current event. What a unique method to focus the point you are trying to bring the reader to. I see that many have gathered here and each made valid points regarding the general issue or the specifics of the current event. You quite often take on a big issue with your writing and make a presentation that at once becomes relevent.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Someonewhoknows - Of course, nobody is perfect. Some are only more dangerous than others.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      parrster, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Overcoming our carnal nature should be our most important goal. I believe that this will be easier when departments of education introduce Human Behaviour as a compulsory subject in schools. Let me dream on....

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 4 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Everyone has their faults.Some of us more serious faults.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 4 years ago from Australia

      Well written and compelling article. The choices we make in life cannot be isolated from our experiences. We are largely a product of everything that has contributed into our lives; people, events, ideologies, beliefs, genetic predispositions. Most of us have made some irrational choices we seriously regret. Sadly, some get so lost in themselves and their carnal nature, that their decisions invite great tragedy. Voted up and interesting

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, WillStarr - thanks for sharing your personal experience of being the only boy among girls. I bet they have spoiled you rotten. While I felt sorry for the only-girls among boys I once knew. They were compelled to stand up against their brothers.... with razor-sharp tongues and fists. Thanks for the visit. Take care :))

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Frog, you are a special one-of-a-kind :) Good to know you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Bravewarrior - I have to repeat my sentence: "Eventually, in adulthood, the only child (or boy-among-girls, girl-among-boys) has a distinct one-of-a-kind personality, which may be either attractive or repelling." My hat off for your son, he is most certainly a son to be proud of.

      I agree with you - Oscar's story is unbelievable. I actually wanted to say 'hard to believe', but honestly, any person with intellect will find his story unbelievable. Fortunately (for him) there is no substantial evidence to proof it unbelievable. There are too many psychological theories for him to apply to his benefit: 1) A paranoid fear of burglars, which is quite relevant in South Africa. 2) Determination to the degree of madness to protect himself as a disadvantage paraplegic. 3) He is not used to have a partner in his bed, due to paranoia he could have lost his grip on reality the moment he suspected a threat. 4) Oh, don't let me list it all. If - IF - he gets a prison sentence, it will be suspended. (I think.)

      Of course, without any doubts, one-of-a-kind or not, we ARE always accountable for our actions.

      I have no idea how Oscar is going to pick himself up after this trial. His future is ruined. He will have to start all over again. Fortunately there will be people willing to give him a second chance. We all deserve second-third-fourth-etc chances. What we make of it, determines the rest of our future.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shauna :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Kallini - if only we were willing to follow the advice of wise seniors. But each of us believes that we will discover the BEST and easiest way to the answers of all questions and to perfectness. A good thing, though, considering the introduction of electricity, penicillin, the Internet, etc.etc.

      Tell me about sticking my head out and getting it chopped off. This is the story of my life. Fortunately I always manage to stitch it back onto my body. You will see the marks on my pictures.

      Thanks again for leading me to Dr Watkins' video(s). This particular one was just what I've been looking for and it suits this hub perfectly.

      Take care, Svetlana. You have no idea how much I enjoy our conversations on FB.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Tsmog, good to see you! There are so many perspectives on each and every issue. Taking notice of as many as possible leave us with only one conclusion: "We don't know all we should know to label anything as the ultimate truth."

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Interesting examination of uniqueness. I too ended up with three sisters, but that had its advantages because, as the only boy, I had certain privileges. In today's gender equality world though, that might no longer be true. Depends on the dad I guess!

      Good Hub!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, billybuc, human behaviour is fascinating. The influence of each and every person we meet, incident we experience, lesson we learn, our genes and natural abilities, and so-so many things make us who we are. We as individuals are in fact pathetic creatures - the result of the doings and neglect of others and of events caused by ourselves and other people and things such as viruses and bacteria and all unpredictable powers in our universe. So often, if not always, we look back with no idea why we had done something stupid or even something brilliant. Thanks for coming over for the read and commenting :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      marcoujor – my dearest sista, at least the little boy threw a very decent tantrum - he didn’t destroy anything while he demonstrated his disappointment and revolt – a sign that he doesn’t host any evil spirits. Svetlana sent me the video of Dr. Watkins while we had a discussion about emotions and feelings on Facebook. I was so impressed, as he explained what I have suspected in such a comprehensible manner – that there is a difference between emotions and feelings. I plan to watch all his video’s as time allows me.

      My heart goes out to Oscar, and this doesn’t mean I agree with what he had done, or who he really is. He is such a living evidence of human-imperfectness, and of a human’s very complicated psychological system. I also find the reactions of people on his doings and trial interesting. Just like Oscar, they, too, are proving the same phenomenon - Why are we who we are, why do we do what we do? People are people through people and Life is a torture chamber. At the end of the day not one of us can be blamed for being who we are and doing what we do. Yes, we have to take responsibility; we should never accept our shortcomings and evil tendencies; we should keep on striving to be pure, honest, wise, and everything that is morally admirable.

      Thanks for editing my writing before publishing. You are the BEST editor in the world; you never leave a trail. I had to use a magnifier to detect the corrections you have made. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You also know I believe that NO writer should ever publish an article or anything without the approval of a professional editor, and that’s why I love to thank you over and over in public. I am so privileged to have YOU as my personal editor.

      Lots of hugs to you :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      always exploring – I agree with you. In a nice way parents should prepare their children for disappointments. But maybe, hopefully, the scene in the video was the beginning of the preparation. I have my doubts about Oscar’s alleged innocence. He reminds me too much of my ex, so I tend to see in him a mindset that would have encouraged such an impulsive, quasi-clever act – killing his girlfriend and telling the world he had mistaken her for a burglar - in an effort to avoid acknowledgement of failure. If Reeva had threatened to leave him, or if he had suspected that she was planning to leave him, his ego that was boosted by her love and support would have freaked out. Let me rather not share my personal experience of a man with a freaked-out ego and a gun. But for Oscar’s sake, I hope he will not be sent to jail. I believe he have had, and he is still having, all the punishment he deserves.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      @ fpherj48 – Thank you so much for your lovely comment. The disappointment of that little boy absolutely touched my heart. Must say, in my time children were not allowed to display negative emotions, feelings and thoughts, and actually not even the positive, as everything that was too good or too nice was a sin. We had to behave ourselves by keeping it all inside. “Be grateful for every blessing; the negative is supposed to keep you humble,” was the lesson. I do believe this – blocking of feelings and thoughts – is one of the reasons of tragedies like Oscar/Reeva’s. Hugs to you, fpher!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Interesting Martie. As I've grown older I am told more often that I am unique. One of a kind is fine with me.


    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Well, I certainly hope this isn't universal of one-of-a-kinds. My son is an only child. He had a vocabulary beyond his peers at a young age because I never employed baby talk with him. I encouraged him to learn and gain a vocabulary that would serve him well no matter what situation he was in or which group of people he was exposed to.

      Now, at 21, he's one of the most giving people I know. He's the first to run to a friend who needs a shoulder. He'll loan money he doesn't have to give and he's more than willing to help a friend or neighbor with a project.

      Frankly, I don't believe Pistorius' story. First, why would a burglar be sitting on the toilet behind closed doors? Second, would he not have heard a scream after the first shot and realize it was his girlfriend? And he shot 3 more times? Did he not know his girlfriend was in the house? His he using his disability as a crutch to circumvent the law?

      In the end, we are all responsible for our actions and should be accountable for those actions. One-of-a-kind or not.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      An interesting read, Martie. I agree that "standing out" as in being "outstanding" might do more harm than good unless the person has fully adjusted and may even learn to turn the tables, to use the situation to his advantage. I believe such cases are rare, it takes time and wisdom and a lot of coaching. Wisdom often comes from seniors, the ones who have already figured out the ways of survival.

      So, basically, it depends. Situations matter.

      I see the whole phenomenon as - if you stick your head out, it would be the first one to be chopped off. Being a minority you call attention to yourself, again with the possibility of losing "your head".

      Sense of belonging and acceptance by peers is one of the fundamental human needs. It's hard to be functional if you are alone, insecure, picked on, ostracized...

      I'm glad you liked the video and shared it with your readers. It's an idea worth spreading!


    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Amazing! Thank you so much for opening a door. A must read and see article!


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I haven't really followed the trial that much. I know about it, of course, but in the grand scheme of things it is just one of millions of such acts. Still, your analysis of the underlying possible causes is fascinating. Well done!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Martie,

      You have written yet another compelling aspect of human behavior that I had not really given much thought to. Nevertheless, through the years, I have seen the sequelae of the one - of - a- kind syndrome in both personal and work situations.

      The videos you have selected are so thoughtful.

      In the first, how very sad, as I agree with Paula and Ruby. Yet, I wanted to intervene and pray this is the worst thing that ever happens in this young lad's life.

      The second video is awesome, really a cool speaker with a powerful and effective delivery style. His concept of "Get a Grip" is something of value to us all...fascinating in fact.

      I appreciate your take on Oscar Pistorius. From every aspect this is a tragedy, yet you give us another facet of understanding in a complex incident.

      Voted UP and UABI. Excellent writing. Love, Mar

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Most interesting topic Martie. I've been watching Oscar Pistorius' trial on TV. I do hope he is not guilty of intentional murder. You have uncovered some facts concerning being a one-of-a-kind. In today's society being different is cause for some to annihilate, possibly that is why we have so many committing school violence. The video of the little boy made me sad. He must have felt left out at some point, seems the parents could have done more to adjust his thinking of the possibility of another girl. Great article. Thumbs up!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Martie.....The perfect read for early morning! Thank you. If I wasn't fully awake before...I certainly am now.

      This is positively fascinating as well as new thought to consider and contemplate. My major interest is and always has been in Human behavior. I totally enjoyed the videos, especially the doctor discussing "performance."

      I must say, my heart broke for the darling little boy who was so terribly disappointed to discover his fervent wish for a baby brother was not going to happen. LOL...hopefully by now he has adjusted.

      If he plays his cards right, perhaps he can learn to have all 3 of his sisters do his bidding!! LOL

      Thank you for my morning revelation, Martie!!...UP+++


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