How do you feel about being told you are unique–one of a kind? We live in a time when the ability to mass produce and distribute many exact duplicates of the same thing has given us the ability to own things that would have been considered unattainable luxuries only a few years ago. The Industrial Revolution and the technological revolution we are experiencing now make us ask ourselves what really is the value of being unique?
We may admire and seek to own a few one of a kind items, but it is difficult to imagine our culture functioning for very long if we returned to an emphasis on unique, handmade, one of a kind items as staple items in living our daily lives. To illustrate some of what this type of life might look like, consider the Amish. They chose a period in the 1800’s where the uniqueness of the hand made articles with which they live their day to day lives, honors their understanding of uniqueness.
What about the ways in which each of us is a truly unique individual? How do those abilities, talents, interests, as well as knowledge and experience that make you the person you are fit with the life you are living? Healthy relationships support each person’s uniqueness while allowing those same things to become part of something greater.
We join a team, club or other association to contribute our unique abilities toward accomplishing some more than any one of could do on our own. The balance is in holding on to what makes us individually who we are while allowing us to share in a larger goal and accomplish more than we could do by ourselves.
This process begins for each of us by asking what makes us unique. What do we like doing? What are we good at doing? What do we know how to do well? This may not be an easy process. Another important question is to ask what have I always wanted to do? I think many people have secret dreams of things they have thought about doing but have never tried.
It is important here to carefully separate things we might not be able to do for any number of reasons from things we simply are not ready to put the time effort and money into pursuing. The process can get interesting at this point, especially if you discover their are other ways to express your uniqueness that may not require the same time, energy and money as making that the focus of your life.
I want to affirm the unique person each of us is. As we move forward, I want to challenge you to ask how you are living out the unique person you are. If you are not doing all you can to be the unique person you are, then think of ways you can be more intentional about that.
This is my lifelong quest. I hope it will become yours. Let’s celebrate each other’s uniqueness as we learn, grow and as we move forward.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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