Seeing Ourselves in a Grain of Sand

By Donna Kater


Even an everyday grain of sand can be truly extraordinary, if we look closely enough. In his Nov 2012 TED talk, “The Beautiful Nano Details of Our World,” Gary Greenberg showed stunning closeup pictures of sand looking like jewels. It turns out that sand is made up of individual structures, each as unique as snowflakes. Every beach is different, and every single grain of sand is different.  Some beach sand is made up of quartz and felspar. The sand in Hawaii is made up of coral, lava, shells, and sea urchins - a lot of biological material with millions of years of biological and geological history. In South Africa, the sand is literally made up of diamonds and tiny jewels.

People, in a way, are like grains of sand. Each person has his or her own individual beauty and gifts. When we are feeling out of touch, angry, down, or depressed, we may be feeling like just one of a billion grains of sand on the beach. We have forgotten that we are each a beautiful individual jewel that is like no other.

There is no other like me, just as there is no other like you.  Yes, we are only one of billions of people. Yes, we are all living on the same planet. Yes, we are all breathing air.  However, you are the only one breathing in your body, with your particular heartbeat, with your consciousness, and your particular gifts.

You might wonder, “am I really a jewel or am I just one of billions of grains of sand?”  Well, the truth is that you are both.  What you experience just depends on your perspective. To appreciate your uniqueness is not egotistical; it is just a more uplifting and useful point of view.  You’ll find that this perspective will better support you as you move forward in life.

So next time you are feeling "meh”, or out of sorts, remember to view yourself as a beautiful and unique jewel, rather than as an unremarkable grain of sand.  Appreciate what a brilliant, precious person you are, complete with distinct gifts that can be shared with the world.

Like the great Dr. Suess reminds us, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

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