Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

Have you ever stopped to think what a brilliant, unique and remarkable person you are? The end of an old year and the start of a new year can be a time to reflect on that statement.

Of all the people who ever lived, not one of them is just like you. No one who ever lived had the abilities, limits, talents, appearance, happiness, sorrows, opportunities, burdens, and possibilities that you have. No one has exactly the same thoughts as you do. No one speaks exactly as you do. No one prays just as you do. No one loves all the same people that you love.

Even the ones who laugh like you don’t sneeze like you. The ones who cry like you don’t have the same sorrow you do. The ones who smile like you don’t know the same joys that you do. No one before and no one yet to come has your gifts. You weren’t meant to be like anyone else.

You don’t need to change to show you’re different. You were meant to be special.

At no time in all history will the same things be going on in someone else’s mind, soul and spirit, as with you this very moment. If you did not exist, there would be a gap in our lives, a change in our history, a hole in our creation, and something missing from God’s plan. Cherish your uniqueness. It is a gift given only to you.

The following is a story I recently heard about life in an African tribe.

The Soul Song

When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the soul song of the child. They recognise that every soul has its own vibration, that expresses its unique purpose. When the women attune to the soul song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else. When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s soul song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s soul song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her soul song. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person into the next life.

In this African tribe, there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the centre of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their soul song to them. The tribe recognises that the correction for anti-social behaviour is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognise your own soul song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

A friend is someone who knows our soul song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you and are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

Tune-up for 2015

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your soul song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your soul song, and when you feel awful it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognise our soul song and sing it well. You may feel a little wobbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. So remember, just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, show that you can win in this world by love rather than hatred.