When I asked for a message in my meditation this morning, I saw an image of a fingerprint and heard the word. I immediately understood that this message was about our uniqueness in the world and how we should celebrate what it is that makes us different from others.
From the day we are born, we are exposed to cultural conditioning, comparing us to others of the same age, sex, social class, and basically all areas of life. Young parents want their baby to fit in with others of the same age, reaching development milestones just like in the book.
Then, in school, kids try to conform and blend in with their friends. They don't want to stand out for fear of being bullied. The institution of school is an incredible machine that presses us into form if we want to survive the years there unscathed.
And so, by the time we are adults, we have been conditioned to blend in with our community and not to stand out too much because we might be ostracized. But, forcing ourselves into a cookie cutter shape can leave us unhappy and searching for more meaning in our life.