Look in the mirror and admire an original masterpiece. A one-off, never to be repeated work of art. You are unique and that is partly due to your combination of genes. Unless you are an identical twin it’s a combination that has never been seen before. Genes can tell fascinating stories. And the story of your life is probably the most important of all. We’d all like to understand ourselves better, and there’s no better time to start than now….This is your moment….In your own personal “big bang” moment when you were conceived, a sperm and egg met for the first time. Each of them was carrying a special delivery. Half of the instruction manual for how to build a human. Magic happened, the two sets of instructions came together and the rest is history.It could so easily have been different….But you have received only one of several million possible instruction manuals your parents could have put together. The chances they ended up with you are too remote to grasp. If your parents kept on having children, they’d have to visit the maternity hospital another million billion times to stand a chance of producing another child with your genes. It never happens.Unique experiences: Genetically speaking you are a new invention. But there’s another dimension to your uniqueness. Every experience you have had in your lifetime has made an impact on who you are seeing in the mirror right now. The direction you faced in the womb, your experiences at school, even how well you slept last night. They all make you unique.
We all live in different worlds. Nobody can claim that their life has been the same as yours. You might be wealthy or poor, a megastar, or an anonymous face in a city of millions. You may have an older brother, be an only child, have mixed race parents, live on the sunny side of the street…or in an igloo.
Your genes make you unique, but so does your life. It is different from every other human life on earth. Different beginningsFrom the moment you were conceived you have been dealing with unique surroundings. You may have had quite a different nine months in the womb compared to that of your brother or sister. Do stressed out mothers-to-be produce agitated babies? A link has been noticed and its just one sign that our different experiences count from very early on.…and once you are born then just about anything can happen. And almost everything that occurs during your childhood and adolescence could be having an impact on your health, your career and the relationships you are forming today.There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he looked upon and received with
wonder or pity or love or dread, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain
part of the day . . . or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and
red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the March-born lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter,
and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf, and the noisy
brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pond-side
. . . and the fish suspending themselves so curiously
below there . . . and the beautiful curious liquid . . . and
the water-plants with their graceful flat heads . . . all
became part of him.
from “There Was A Child Went Forth,”
by Walt Whitman
Everything we have seen and touched and heard and experienced has, in some way, made us who we are. Whitman considers all the many things in just one day that will touch on the life of a child. From here he goes on to think about the child’s teachers and classmates, the people he passes on his way to school, his parents, the streets he walks, and finally the changing light of sunset, and a solitary bird flying across the sky.What in your day contributes to who you are? Of those things you noted which contribute to your preferred story for yourself? Did you identify with the angry, the sad, the difficult, the obstacles OR did you identify with the grace, the gratitude, health, home, privelge, the holy?
from Scholastic Publishing / Memoir Writing