One in a million: my unofficial statistic for the probability of a freak accident in which my laptop’s AC adapter would slip, connect while I was attempting to plug it in, and thereby create a circuit within itself, leaving me with a fried, worthless power cord and a dormant laptop.
Welcome to my life. One in a million.
At least, that is how we often view ourselves, especially in the individualistic society which dominates America. However, we are not nearly as unique (please forgive me fellow grammar enthusiasts) as we often believe.
I would imagine, that most people would be largely offended and, at least, slightly confused if I proceeded to accuse each of them of being anything less than unique. This reaction stems from a perspective built upon the individualistic nature of each person. No two people are the same. If you violate that basic premise, much of what some people believe in falls apart rather rapidly. Through my experiences, I have arrived at the conclusion that you, I, or that guy/girl down the hall is far from unique.
Definition of “unique” according to Merriam-Webster: 1. being the only one; 2. a. being without a like or equal, b. distinctively characteristic; 3. unusual. (link)
I’ve struggled to accept this individualistic view of humanity. If I truly believed each person was radically different from another, this blog would cease to function as anything more than an internet diary of my life. The reason you can connect, understand, and empathize with another human being is rooted in the similarities you and that person share.
Think about those you share relationships with: friends, family, spouses, etc. What draws (or drew) you together? Shared similarities. What differentiates you from one person, is the very element you share in common with another.
The sum total of elements which comprise one person may form a unique individual, but to view life with this as a foundation completely neglects the truth of the human condition. Humanity was built for community. Life is measured through and by the relationships one forms and maintains. Individuality has its place, but that place resides within the larger picture of community.
One in a million? Maybe, but I’d rather be one with a million.