Unique

We are all special, each in our own way. Some of us make the world a better place and some of us just cope with getting by. A handful of people contribute a net disbenefit, so to speak, but I am firm in my conviction that they are the tiny minority, even if they do occasionally seem to make the most noise.

Today there was some discussion of the child within, the unique person who can be seen emerging from the infant and growing into the adult, and latterly peeping out from the eyes of the elderly through their force of personality. We continue to feel much the same on the inside while our bodies start to ache and our brains become increasingly puzzled by the latest mobile phones.

My friend went on to propose that how we treat our children, by which she meant how society, as well as the actual parents or carers, treats its children, will create a secure child who feels loved or an insecure one who grows up with problems. I felt she was right. My own upbringing, while far from tragic, was also far from ideal and I am very insecure. The resulting chronic depression I live with is evidence in favour of my friend’s argument.

However, I decided to avoid that particular old chestnut today, and focus on the wonder that is a human being. This is probably because I watched my Cirque du Soleil DVD last night and am still in awe of what some people are able to persuade the body to accomplish. On the other hand I can touch my toes, so all is not lost.

Naturally, I cast my mind back to my youth in the green days of the last century. One text book I studied on Child Development had a poem by Aldous Huxley, which bizarrely I read the once and instantly memorised. My brain used to do that back then, just remember things for fun without me even asking it to do so.

“A million million spermatozoa,

All of them alive:

Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah

Dare hope to survive.

And among that billion minus one

Might have chanced to be

Shakespeare, another Newton, a new Donne –

But the One was Me.”

The Fifth Philosopher’s Song

There is a final response verse which is less uplifting, but don’t worry about that here. The point is the same: we are each unique. Some of us (not you, obviously) may be uniquely appalling, but most of us aren’t. My tutor in Child Development would make that point, adding “Children grow up to function well in society, usually despite their parents rather than because of them.”

So here I am, and possibly here are you, and here are all the rest of us, getting by, each in our own way. We cannot mourn the possibilities that never were, but can only make best use of the ones we have. Where individually we have weaknesses, together we have strength.

Who needs another Shakespeare anyway? As he said himself, you can have too much of a good thing:

“If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die.”

Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 1

Namaste

 

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2 thoughts on “Unique

  1. We do mold and change our children. I had a very rough childhood abuse, rape, kidnapped by grand parent, homeless, children’s home, foster care, to be adopted by a mom that was hardly an improvement. I made a choice a long time ago that my past is not going to define me. Yes, I have my moments like the next person, but I refuse to be a statistic. I now live a great life, in a beautiful home with children that don’t understand what a scary world we live in. I made a choice and now they get the benefits and that means the world to me.

    That said, sometimes I feel I have it too good. I need a bit of adventure in my life and often find it boring. So there is a point. Challenges are good. Too much or too little can lead to very bad consequences.

    • thanks for sharing your story; I am with you on choices. For years I felt like depression was my fault, but now I feel stronger about choosing not to be depressed. Some days are harder, but like you I have a good life, and yes, sometimes it can be a little dull. I think my friend was trying to say a secure childhood gives us more strength to face up to challenges; it left me feeling wobbly for no good reason, so I imagine she has hit a nerve and I will work it out in time 🙂

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