Just because two lives are lived similarly or even together does not mean they are even remotely the same. Just ask anyone who has ever been in a relationship. Living together or not, you and your boo can spend every second together, but you’re probably not thinking the same things or even having the same experience.
My cousins, uncle, and great uncles all live on the same farm. They’ve spent nearly their whole lives together within its fences. These men all see the same exact sights every day as the others but are totally different people. My uncle is a diehard Left-ist to the core. One great uncle looks like Santa but with the personality of Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh. The other great uncle is a con-man and has had three wives. My cousin’s primary identity is a father. He is devoted to loving his children and stepchildren. All of them have lived with the each other for forever (Except for uncle Santa, who watched the rest of them slowly invade his life), yet each one is totally different.
Human lives are like Snowflakes. Each is each unique and special. Some may appear more common than others, like a leaf floating down a swift stream. Others may stand out but are never “really” seen for who they are. No matter what patterns we snowflake experts may notice or predict, each flake remains different. Sometimes it’s so microscopic that their unique nature may never be known, but it’s distinctive abnormality still exists whether seen or unseen.
I will never know even a percentage of what I want to know about each individual snowflake. My language has one word for “snow” while there are some languages with 50 different words for snow, but I don’t require eyes like microscopes or a foreign language to appreciate each flake I come across. They melt in a second. Sometimes they melt as they fall, never completing the journey through the air to the ground, but that temporary nature is a large part of what makes that snowflake special.
You and I are snowflakes, floating down, not even guaranteed to land or add to something more or to be remembered or even ever known at all. This blog post may well be my legacy. I could try rock climbing and fall to my death (if it would happen to anyone, it would be me) and I’d be seen as just another flake in a storm of flakes with no end. Looking at a snowstorm from afar can be terrifying, but nothing compares to watching individual flakes as they soar and fall.
Studying people as a whole and calculating just how insignificant each life gives us an idea of how truly large our universe is. BUT when looking at such a big picture, don’t forget the beauty of the details. The sacrifice of a mother for her child is lost. The first kiss of a pimply teenager who dreamed of their moment for years. The brother crying at a grave determined to never forget. The man who changes his life and devotes his everything to care for his child, only to be forgotten when he’s older. The child who leaps forward into the unknown, hoping to succeed. The young man willing to risk his safety for the sake of someone who cannot protect themselves. The man who spends 20 minutes rewriting the same sentence over and over before hitting send. The child who saves a duckling. The teacher who takes on both guilt and pride for every student’s success or failure. These are all patterns, but that does not take away from the excitement, pain, love, or beauty of each individual life experiencing their own moments. I may see my dog die, but I would be insulted if you dare say my experience is the same as another’s who saw their dog die. Dude, I fed Buster waaaaaay better than they ever fed Sparky and it took them three days to notice Sparky wasn’t breathing.
Life may have patterns and seem redundant when looking at the giant snowstorm we call the universe, but just as you can’t step in the same river twice because they are always flowing and changing, no two snowflakes AND no two lives are the same. No matter the situation, revelation, or pattern, every life is unique and holds a value that no other life will ever contain. If there is any value in the world or thing worth devoting time towards, any beauty ever created worth appreciating, it is the true value of people.