Ripples #1220: Beautiful Uniqueness


Look closely beyond initial impressions to observe and honor the beautiful uniqueness of each living being. No two are exactly the same.
-The Dreaming Realm (via Kiva Lodge), shared by Lauranne in Madison, WI


When you walk through a beautiful botanical garden, you feel open and light. You feel love, you see beauty. You don’t judge the shape and placement of every leaf. The leaves are of all sizes and shapes and they face every-which way. That’s what makes them beautiful. What if you felt that way about people? What if they all didn’t have to dress the same, believe the same or behave the same? What if they were like the flowers, and however they happened to be seemed beautiful to you?
-Michael Singer
passage from The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself


A friend and I are slowly and mindfully reading Michael Singer’s “Untethered Soul” together, checking in with each other every few weeks for a meandering discussion and exploration. Making my way through the book is an interesting, and at times challenging, journey that I’m really glad I’m on.

The paragraph that I pulled out to share with you as today’s Boulder comes from one of the last chapters in the book, and the questions at the end have continued to swirl in my mind and in my heart over the last few weeks.

I have a related question for us to ponder, as well: What would it take for us to shift away from the rampant “us vs. them” polarization that festers in our culture and freezes up our progress? I’m not sure of all the answers, but I’m pretty sure that we don’t have to abandon our principles and our preferences in order to moderate our words and actions that spring from fear and judgment. And I suspect that if we collectively lean into our capacity for curiosity and grace, we’ll more often remember to marvel at the beautiful uniqueness that exists all around us…even among the people we think of as foes.

We are just a few weeks away from another population milestone, when the United Nations estimates that 8 billion human beings will co-exist on our planet at the same time. That many people cannot all look alike, dress alike, believe alike, or behave alike. Not only is it impossible, having us all be identical would be less useful, less interesting. And less beautiful, too.

So let’s all get out there and do what we can this week to recognize the beautiful uniqueness that surrounds us. And while we’re at it, let’s make an extra effort to let our own beautiful, unique light shine brightly, too. Are you in?


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