Some have claimed they have heard enough of the term, “unprecedented,” as it has been used quite frequently to describe the events of the last several months. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the word means “never done or known before.” Truly, recent times have been unusual.
However, I believe that if we really think about it, we can see every single day we wake up and experience amazing opportunities of life can be described as unprecedented.
I understand what people mean when they describe 2020 and 2021 as unprecedented. To have such a terrible pandemic to overcome and shut down the world is not something familiar to humanity. Furthermore, waking up in the morning and going about one’s day is extremely familiar to us, so it might seem incorrect to say every day is unprecedented.
What we miss by this thought, is the truth of how unique, meaningful, and transformative each new day is. These are three characteristics held by every single day of your life, which truly allow us to see every new day is unprecedented.
Each new day is unique in that it has never occurred and will never occur again. Yes, there might be days just like it, but it is still completely different. Because while the days might have the same weather, calendar date, day of the week, or other similarities, each of the people alive on a specific day and society will not be the same as they were on other similar days.
Everyone will be at a different place in their life in their age, understanding and knowledge, perspective, and sometimes even size. For instance, July 4, 1987, July 4, 2002, and July 4, 2021 could have all been very similar, but for me and even the rest of society, these were very different experiences. Additionally, today is the only day that you can say, “I am alive right now in this moment”, and then choose what you will do in that moment.
The uniqueness of each day makes each day unprecedented. This means we should really treasure each day more. You will never have this day, or even this moment, ever again. The breath you are taking right now is a tremendous gift that you can deeply enjoy and appreciate. When we recognize how unprecedented it truly is, appreciate the profound beauty that it bequeaths us, we have a much more satisfying experience of life.
With that in mind, each new day is meaningful because with each day that you get to experience as a present moment you can choose. You can choose to build, destroy, improve, hurt, or even sit in silence within every moment of the day. What’s more is in that present moment you have the amazing opportunity to experience life outside of your thoughts. The past can only be remembered in your mind and, similarly, you can only prepare for and dream of the future in your mind. When you wake up to a new beautiful day only that day you can use your five senses to truly experience life.
This is significant because, through these present moments within which you use your five senses, you are able experience your life, know it, and grow from knowing it. We encounter the world only in the present moment, which each day offers us. It is only in the present that we can choose and shape our lives as we wish.
Building on this, each new day is transformative in that it can bring about profound change as you grow from your experiences. Because the present moment is so impactful, as we have previously seen, our experiences in each new day have tremendous power in affecting us and our outlook on life.
While it may seem like many days are just like the others, we never really end each day as the same person we were when it started. Even if it’s just by a little, we are growing as each day progresses.
Each new day has the opportunity for us to grow in wisdom, which is a tremendous tool that will not leave us unchanged. It is through growing in wisdom that we are truly transformed for the better. Once again, even if the change is only slight, and even if the change is more regress than progress, we can say that we are different from what we learned or gained that day.
This gives me tremendous hope. Every day is unprecedented and so every day is a new chance at living a full life. The days of our lives are unique, meaningful, and transformative, which means that they are more profound than we might think. There is something more for us in each new day than we may initially realize.
We have a chance to find fulfillment. Regardless of our background, stage in life, or tax bracket, we can all receive this same gift from each unprecedented day. We can all find happiness.
By recognizing this we can find deeper fulfillment in our lives and appreciate them more, which will ultimately make us happier.