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The power of one

By Debra Dobbins

Hurrah! Modifiers such as “really” or “very” were not placed in front of the word “unique” in the quote above.

In strict usage, “unique” is an absolute. Something or somebody is unique … or not. Not kind of, not sort of, not rather.

That’s because the word comes from the Latin “unicus ‘single, sole,’ from unus ‘one,’” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning "’forming the only one of its kind’ is attested from 1610s,” the dictionary adds.

The quote above contains a bit of irony about not being just a number. If you are unique, you are a number. You’re singular. You’re a solo act. You are the power of one. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls’ education in her country, is an inspiring example of that power.

Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Martha Graham eloquently expressed the idea of the power of one when she noted, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” (Source: brainyquotes.com)

Malala Yousafzai in the Oval Office
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Martha Graham by Yousuf Karsh (1948)
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia



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