Choosing to Be Different

Let’s face it, the world needs help. Many of us might even find that it has become our life purpose to bring a positive light into the lives of others. I would even guess it’s how many of us infuse our lives with meaning: trying to somehow leave the world a better place than we found it. At least I hope it’s how most people think.

Today I am grappling with this. I am questioning humanity and the intent of others. I realize it is not my place to do that and I am edging on being incredibly judgmental, but I’m also striving for honesty.

On days like today when I feel isolated and out doing my humble version of God’s work all alone my head gets jumbled as I look around me.

The huge homes and fancy cars that surround me as people whiz by going to their next luncheon or appointment. The shopping centers that line nearly ever corner are packed with shoppers consuming more and more. The extravagant lifestyles may seem as though they are living their best life, yet I know that nobody escapes the pains of being human. We all have our own version of loss, disappointment and pain. The fancy houses and new cars are simply a shell that contains the human conditions we all face.

I suppose the question that begs to be answered as I ruminate with bitterness and probably envy—how are you making the world better? What are you doing to contribute to humanity?

As I wander around the big city doing my work I want to stop and ask people that question. I want to knock on doors and ask. I want to know, because today, I feel like there aren’t many people out there contributing. I see a society that is mostly focused only on themselves and consuming as much as they can.

I like to think that I am a very even keeled gal who rarely gets rattled. I go about by day doing what I believe I here to do and I usually pay zero attention to how others live their life. The old triggers rarely get pushed anymore and I have less care about what people do or don’t do with this one very precious life.

But today, nope. I am wallowing in judgment and perhaps even some disgust.

There are so many ways to contribute to the greater good and sadly so many people miss the chances on a daily basis because they are wrapped up in their own self absorbed life.

Look, you don’t have to be a hero or do remarkably hard things to create a better world. It’s starts by thinking of others before yourself.


We can simultaneously make major contributions to society—both to help other people and feel good about our choices—while making a difference in our everyday lives. We can do things both large and small, for others and ourselves, every day if we choose to.

  • Smile
  • Be a neighbor
  • Pick up trash outside
  • Buy someone coffee
  • Listen without solving
  • Use your skills for good
  • Volunteer your time
  • Say thank you
  • Donate unused items to those in need
  • Give grace
  • Compliment others
  • Think of others before yourself
  • Stop complaining
  • Write notes of gratitude
  • Stop making excuses why you can’t
  • Get off your butt and do something

Maybe the realization that you do truly have to be different if you desire to make a difference in the world is hitting me hard today.

The mundane lives people live all around me are begging me to look inside and see that I am wrestling with bitterness and envy.

Here is the realization and lesson I dug into. Days like today bring up the old wounds of feeling like I don’t belong in a world where fancy things are the focus—back then it was because I was broke and trying so hard to make a life for my kids in a neighborhood I could barely afford—today it’s because I choose the life I have. I choose to do the work that I do. I choose to be as busy as I am and don’t have the time to longer over fancy lunches. I choose this.

I choose to be different. And, once I landed on the fact that I CHOOSE this, the bitterness faded and I remember the gift that I have and the choice I make to use it.

Follow me for more goodness!

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