You Are UniqueBlog / Produced by The High Calling
You and I are unique. I can't prove this, but I believe it. We hear phrases like "very unique" and "more unique," but we cannot in fact compare uniqueness. To be unique is to be one of a kind. If I'm right, each of us in the world is one of a kind.
The U.S. Census Bureau maintains an up-to-the-minute world population estimate. Check the USCB Website. As I write this, it reports the current U.S. population as 303,090,950; for the world, it is 6,623,730,231. Demographers seek to be precise down to single digits because every individual counts. By the time you read this, those numbers will be thousands higher. Still, the numbers will include that last single digit, that digit you can think of as representing you.
Jesus taught that God knows each of us intimately and cares for us. He urged disciples not to be anxious about the food, drink, clothing because each person is known and beloved of God, even to the extent that the hairs of each head are counted (Matt. 10:30).
So, God knows you. The Census Bureau counts you. Still, the question remains open. Are you just one among many or are you unique? In the workplace, are you only a member of an amorphous work force, or are you a person with singular talents and personality. The distinction is important. Sometimes, employers do not see this nor do fellow workers.
I think observation, experience, and faith are sufficient to conclude that every human being is unique. I have known no one exactly like me, and no one I have ever met seems exactly like anyone else. A doppelganger is supposed to be a person's ghostly or real duplicate, but I've never met mine. If each of us is unique, then it is reasonable to assume that appreciating individuality is crucial to health in workplace atmosphere, personal relationships, and productivity.
Of course, most of us in the workplace know that teamwork is important to success. Effective teamwork happens, however, when coworkers cultivate one another's talents, help offset weaknesses, and blend together in a common effort. Athletic teams exemplify this principle as well as any. Skilled coaches pay attention to every player, working with each one, seeking to develop individual talent. Yet, when the team gathers on field or court or arena, it's the team that counts, not each individual.
If you are an employer or supervisor who practices the principle of "herding the masses" or who believes that employees should not think on their own, you might study the ways of successful athletics coaches. If you are a worker who gets disgusted with coworker idiosyncrasies, you might watch a few U.S. Women's Soccer games to learn how superbly skilled individuals with strong egos still manage well-oiled teamwork.
Jesus chose apostles carefully one by one, yet he sent them out in teams to do his work. With God's help, we too can appreciate one another's uniqueness yet work in teams for common goals.