Friday, February 14, 2020
Life sends so many mixed messages our way. We are bombarded with happy, feel-good, simplistic platitudes and Facebook memes that say things like: “You are special! You are unique! There’s no one else like you! At the same time life often reminds us that we are nothing special. We are just one of the 7.5 billion people living on earth.
While each one of us is different, paradoxically, we are also all the same. I may have a different genetic makeup and a unique fingerprint, but I also share a common physiology and psychology with everyone else on the planet.
This was recently brought to my attention while learning about advertising for my newest novel. Do you know that with today’s technology and all the data it has collected on us, it can pretty much predict with a great deal of accuracy your behavior, your likes and dislikes and even what you are likely to purchase.
I’ve always thought I was unique; I’m sure everyone feels that way to a certain extent. No one can completely know what it feels like to be another person, but alas I’ve learned that I’m actually average and very predictable. The new technology knows that as a white, married, middle-aged woman, I’m apt to buy certain books, attend certain events and even adhere to certain political and religious beliefs.
However, while at the time I was learning all of this, I also received a picture frame as a gift that said “Grandma, to the world, you’re one person, but to us you are the world.”
Now which is it? Am I ordinary? Or am I someone special?
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day and our thoughts turn to love, I think I’ve found the answer. We are both. Yes, we are all just a number, but what elevates and makes us special is love.
It’s the love of a mother that makes you treasured more than all the other babies in the world. It’s the love of a spouse that makes you special compared to all the possible mates in the world. It’s the love of our Heavenly Father that makes us humans “a little less than the angels.”
But what about those who sadly have not been shown love? Are they not special? They are as well. You don’t have to be on the receiving end of love to be valued, you can be the bestower of love because it is also in the act of loving another, whether it be romantic, parental, platonic, that raises us from being a nobody to a somebody.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This originally appeared in the February issue of Northern Connection magazine.