The term unprecedented has a discomforting meaning these past few years, thought it doesn’t necessarily always refer to something bad. The word means, “something never known or seen before.” It is with this true definition that we can fully understand that you and every other human being that has ever walked this earth, is unprecedented.
You have never existed before and you will never exist again. Sure, people who have looked like you, spoken like you, or acted like you, have existed and others will come after you, however, you are still different.
Have you ever googled your own name? I have, and you know what I discovered? I am not the only Thomas Clements. Besides my dad, Thomas Sr., and my son, Thomas III, there are many others with my name.
I moved to Destin, Florida in the late 2000s and went by TJ at the time. I started meeting and hanging out with people, and at times people would say I resembled TJ Clements, someone else who used the live there but had recently moved.
I was always baffled and intrigued by this. There was someone out there who not only looked like me but had my name as well. I never have met him, but it is crazy for me to think that he is out there somewhere.
Regardless of how similar people may look, even if they are identical twins, every person is unprecedented. No one has ever been able to think with your thoughts, speak with your voice, or love others with your heart. You have never existed before in history. Nor will you ever exist again. You are unique. Unrepeatable and irreplaceable.
And this is yours to give, by the way. That is one of the things that makes romantic love so special: you choose who you give your heart to and no one else in history will get it except whomever you choose. Those who are loved by you are members of an exclusive club. Yes, of course we are called to love everyone, but at this moment, your love can only reach so many people do to limits of time and location.
We could say Mother Theresa loved everyone, however, there is still, in a way, an exclusive club of people who can say that they were loved by her.
The same is true of your love. Yes, love everyone and let them feel loved by you. However, you should know your love is significant. It has never existed on this planet before, nor will it ever exist again. Furthermore, you can speak with your voice and think with your mind to not just affect the world, but to be a beautiful reality in it.
That is the truth about the human person. We are all distinct individual creatures simply meant for beauty. We are meant to experience beauty in ourselves and the world around us and then share this beauty with others.
Don’t get me wrong – we are not machines that are simply meant to produce beauty for society and then die, but we are persons who are meant to create beauty for us to enjoy with the world and other persons in society.
There is a way of thinking that has developed over time that insists that human beings exist merely to produce and benefit society. There are so many of us, some think the best way to differentiate between us all is to consider who is doing the best work. The thing is, when humans are only thought of only as workers that do a job, they can easily become replaceable. If someone’s worth comes from the job they do, and many people can do that job, then what is so special about that person?
We need to stop thinking that someone’s value as a human being comes from what they do and how well they do it. The truth is the world’s most successful doctor who has saved countless lives still has the same dignity and worth as the world’s biggest bum, who is selfish and only hurts people.
We are all equal in worth and deserving of goodness and beauty. Once again, this is not based on what we bring to the table or provide for society. This is because we simply exist as human beings.
There is nothing in existence quite like the human person. There are things like humans in the world, for sure, but the human being is tremendously more complex, unique, and significant. What’s more is that each human being, while like others, is also very much unlike others.
This means that while you have qualities and characteristics that others may possess, or look or act like others may as well, you are unique and significant as well. You have never existed before in all of history and you will never exist again. You are unprecedented.