I was giving a lecture at a university in the greater Philadelphia area on personalism, specifically, the uniqueness of the human person, when one of my students interrupted me, saying, “Someone can easily replace me at my job, because that person can do what I do.” I stopped, thought a minute about what the student said and replied, ‘Someone else may be able to do what you do, but no one else can be you doing it.’
As a unique person, you are the only you, and you live in a unique moment, one that can never be repeated. That is why what you do in that moment cannot be done by anyone else in the future, because the moment in which you do it cannot be retrieved, even by the person who may replace what you do.
Your moment, that is, the moment in which you act or do something, is gone forever. It is yours and yours alone, even if it is shared by someone else, because he or she simply cannot be you in that moment. Therefore, the moment in which you work is reserved for you alone, so that it might give meaning to your life.