As an undergradI had a writing professor who criticized a friend of mine’s use of the phrase “very unique.” This was incorrect, he said, because “Unique has no degree.” Something or someone is either unique or it’’s not. I guess it’s the same as being “a little pregnant”; it’s not a thing.
As for today’s prompt: I thought about this a bit and decided there are too many aspects to consider to determine someone’s uniqueness. And rather than go into a discussion of that, I thought I’d try to explain my statement. I think a person’s personality is like their physical makeup. The latter is a result of a person’s genetic makeup being decoded into the physical world. Like the bits and bytes of a digital packet of information that is assembled at the destination computer, DNA serves as the blueprint for a person’s material presence.
What of the psychological, emotional, et al, presence that manifests as the persona that faces the world? Following the guide of nature versus nurture, all of our experiences are encoded into a kind of spiritual DNA that guides our reactions and experiences as we go about our lives. The complex set of experiences a person has determines their unique character.
Or I’m just making this up as a thought experiment. We could change parts of the DNA/code to suggest variations that would happen in parallel universes, if they exist. As I have often said, the multiverse is an interesting idea, but since we’re only here (not living everywhere all at once), this is the unique life we need to be focused on, in all of our uniqueness.
6 thoughts on ““Very Unique””
Interesting idea (that our appearance is a decoded version of our DNA) and the analogy of a spiritual DNA. We do know how to change our physical DNA now; might understanding and wisdom, ultimately enlightenment, be the equivalent of a multiverse-like alterations to our spiritual DNA?
I was also thinking that your post implies a mind-body duality; to a non-spiritual scientist there might only be the physical DNA and the influences of the organism’s environment…but that’s less interesting to consider.
I’ve heard scientists talk about the “soul” as being only electro-chemical processes. These would, of course stop at the moment of death. Or shortly there after. I prefer evidence that suggests something “lives” on…
I think it’s interesting that you compare personality to physical makeup. I think that’s a really interesting analogy. Do you think that physical makeup is what makes someone unique, or is there something else that contributes to uniqueness?
I think the physical is only part of it. For example, I closely resemble the former governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf. We’re even from the same hometown, and share political views. But his career in business and government and mine in academia creates two unique (I almost typed “very unique”!) people so if we were standing next to one another people might be confused by the similarity but could tell us apart as we spoke.
Used to think I was unique until I was 20 years old in Seattle and realized I’m just a single letter in the book of life. Now that I’m older, I both appreciate and struggle with my “unique” quality which is to love everyone unconditionally as if they were my own child.