Humans. More Unique Than Snowflakes?

(a :03 read)The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists.” ~Unknown

Just in time for Christmas week, a powdered sugar dusting of snow fell here on Friday. There wasn’t enough of the white stuff to give everything a sparkling clean covering like a fresh linen tablecloth. It looked more like a too-small batch of frosting spread on a large cake. Thin, with brown patches showing in between. Sometimes a snowfall beautifies our landscapes, but not this one.

There’s a persistent myth (not true) that the Eskimos have 50 or more words for snow. I had only one for this snowfall. Skimpy. Then I got to wondering about snow. The word has woven its way into our language in idioms. When we’re overworked or overwhelmed, we say we’re “snowed under”. When someone is trying to deceive us, they’re giving us a “snow job.”

Unique as a Snowflake

“Unique as a snowflake” was the expression that first popped in my mind. It made me wonder. Are we really as unique as a snowflake? Is every snowflake actually 100% unique? The answer is yes and no. You know about my endless curiosity and the way I love to dig into the reasons for what we think, do and say. Why just wonder when you can Google, right?

According to an article in The Huffington Post, there are only there are only 35 basic shapes for a snowflake! Only 35? I was surprised. Every snowflake is made up of hydrogen and oxygen molecules that freeze onto a speck of dust or pollen forming a six-sided crystal. But here’s where the magic happens. The things that shape each snowflake, it’s unique size, branching, complexity and beauty are the conditions it travels through on the way from heaven to earth.

The fate of a snowflake is decided by the temperature, humidity, wind speed, and the things it crashes into along the way. Some flakes will float to the ground beautiful and intact. Others arrive broken or misshapen. Isn’t it true of us as well?

It’s a little bit the same with humans

Interestingly, 75% of a human being is composed of hydrogen and oxygen, the same elements as in a snowflake. (Read more about the rest of our chemical composition here if you’re curious.) Just eleven basic elements combine to form every single human being on the planet. Therefore, we’re all essentially more the same than we are different. Ponder that a bit, won’t you?

So you could say we’re a little bit like snowflakes, right? The unique circumstances and conditions of our life are what mold us into the quintessentially unique person we become. But thank goodness we’re not like snowflakes that simply fall from the sky. As human beings, we have the power to make choices along the way!

It’s vitally important to take the time you need to think about what is most important to you in life. When you know it and the storms of life come along, you can adjust your direction just like a sailor does when he uses the wind to take him where he wants to go. I want to breathe that belief deeply into you. You are unique and beautiful and you have the power of choice! Use the gift!

“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes — unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross



  • Grant Newbold

    Betty. Thanks for this wonderful imagery. The snowflake, so common but so unique. I also do think we each have a “snowflake” uniqueness and that we each need to find ours and celebrate it. Our constellation of values and the goals to serve them is a quintessential part of the uniqueness of each of us. Serving the worthy values of our uniqueness is, in my mind, the great challenge that we each must face if we wish to live and leave a legacy of greatness. Doc Newbold.

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