Dare to stand out

blogIMG_6254Do you ever find yourself joining with the crowd just because?

You know – because you don’t want to call attention to yourself.

Because you don’t want to stand out. Or stand up. Even when you don’t agree, even when you think those around you may have it all wrong, you just follow along with everyone else.

Because it’s so much easier to be one of the crowd.  It’s easier to just keep quiet. Not give your opinion when it’s different from those around you. 

It’s easier to blend in. It’s easier to not risk confrontation. It’s easier to just be like everyone else.

Those thoughts occurred to me the other day when Papa and I were outside raking the crispy brown leaves that have fallen from the few trees in our yard. As we raked, our Little One (first-born grandchild) was having the time of her life jumping in the pile of leaves and throwing them into the air to watch the gusty breeze carry them across our front yard.

She was having a delightful time. And her doting grandparents were enjoying watching her and making her happy. One of those sweet moments for which to be thankful.

“Each day, each season, each cycle offers something of beauty. Let us notice and give thanks.” – Diane Mariechild

We raked. She jumped. We gathered. She scattered.

Upon tiring herself out, she was ready to go indoors and have a little quiet time, so Papa led her inside. I stayed out because the sun was shining and it was a warmer day than we’ve had for some time.

But soon the wind picked up even more and those leaves began a journey floating and flitting across the expanse of our two acres on the wings of a chilly breeze.

As the pile of leaves diminished with each gust of wind, I noticed something. Something captured my full attention. Something really stood out. Something was different from the rest of its surroundings.  

There among the sameness of the dried fall leaves was a bright spot of color. One lemon yellow leaf stood out from the monotony of brown surrounding it.  It was as if that little leaf dared to be different from all the rest.

That leaf caused me to pause in thankfulness because on this 19th day of my 30 Days of Thanks Giving, I remember that it’s good to stand out, to not always blend in.

It’s good to be different than the concurring crowd especially when the crowd is heading in the wrong direction. It’s good to go against the multitude to stand up for your own beliefs instead of just accepting what everyone else blindly acquiesces to.

It’s good to follow your heart when your heart is led by the one true God, to adhere to your beliefs, to stand out and stand up if you must, ignoring the rhetoric of the multitude even when it may cause adversity to come your way.

And it’s good be grateful for the opportunity to do so instead of griping because of the way things are.

“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.” – Kak Sri

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