Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

One of a Kind

One of a Kind

“The most important thing about Isaac is that he is Isaac” so reads the first sentence in a description of Isaac written by one of his third-grade classmates. With great charm, the author goes on to tell more about Isaac, including that he loves hot dogs and ribs, and that he longs to become a pro wrestler, and then she concludes with that sentence again—“But the most important thing about Isaac is that he is Isaac”.

Science tells us that we are all unique. It is true that there is no one else exactly like Isaac. He looks a little like his dad at that age, but not exactly. From the top of his head to the tips of his toes, from the arrangement of his teeth to the contents of the smallest cell circulating in his body, nature proclaims his uniqueness. The chances of finding another boy with the same pattern on his fingerprints is one in 64 billion, and the chance of finding someone else with the same DNA is equally astronomical.

Even identical twins who share the same DNA sequences have individual and recognizable personality traits, thoughts, opinions, and preferences. Perhaps it is not surprising that it is so affirming to be accepted and appreciated just for who you are. We are made as one of a kind.

The best teachers my children (and I) had were all people who found a way to communicate with them as individuals, not as members of a group. They bothered to get to know the children and to tailor their teaching methods to their unique needs. In return, the children looked up to them and responded well to their teaching methods. It’s not a cookie-cutter world and somehow most of us don’t like to be treated like “just another” member of the group, or to be expected to perform just like the group in the center of the bell-curve. Average people exist only in the minds of advertisers and pollsters. Real people are individuals in the most absolute sense of the word; their DNA proclaims it, their mental health depends on it, and their creator is reflected in it.

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece that all creation
Quietly applauds
And you’re covered with
The fingerprints of God

Lyrics from “Fingerprints of God” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

3 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing About Isaac

  1. Michele Arduengo says:

    I love this entry. Every time we say to E, “Okay chief” or “Hi Princess”, she always corrects us and says, “I’m not chief. I’m E—“. I’m glad she knows who she is and that she isn’t afraid to assert her identity. I think being treated like the truly special and unique individual you are is really important. I know it makes me feel good.

  2. Kelly says:

    What a great blog, Isobel. You are right that the people we all respond to the best are those that see us and value us as individuals. Teachers who take the time to see each student for what makes them special are the best gift our kids could get!
    I love the starting and ending sentence of Isaac’s classmate’s essay. She just might be a budding writer.

    1. She was a good writer! It was a fun essay to read.

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