I recently read a fascinating article about how Dr. Gary Greenberg, the biomedical researcher who started his career as a photographer and filmmaker, and who invented the high definition 3D microscope, has been micro-photographing sand particles at a magnification of 300 times their actual size. The photo at right is one example.
It turns out that these tiny granular bits are composed of remnants of tropical sea organisms. Depending on where the sand comes from, the grains vary greatly from location to location. Their composition and appearance are affected by the temperature, surf conditions, and marine environment in which they’re found.
Although no one has yet postulated it, that I know of, Dr. Greenberg’s photos suggest to me that grains of sand are as unique as snowflakes, for which scientists estimate there is only about a 1 in 1 million trillion chance that any two snowflakes are the same.
Which brings me to humans. Have you ever thought about how wonderfully and truly unique each human being is? It’s something most of us probably take for granted as we go about our daily lives.
I have twin daughters. When our family sent our DNA samples to Ancestry.com, my daughters’ analyses came back at different times. When the second report arrived, it said, “(Name of twin) is either you, or an identical twin.” Their DNA is that alike.
Yet as much as they look alike, have similar interests, habits, friends, and share almost the exact same DNA structure, each is as unique and beautiful as one of those microscopic graina of sand or a snowflake.
We all are. Our heredity, family, background, life experiences and interests make us marvelously rare and irreplaceable.
So the next time you look in a mirror and are tempted to find fault with what you see, or criticize yourself for not having the skills or attributes of another, instead, take a moment to celebrate how very unlike anyone else you really are! Across the sands of time, there will be only one YOU. How fortunate are those of us who live in the right time and place to have the delight of knowing you!
Originally published in the July 11, 2019 issue of Beyond the Nest’s free weekly newsletter.