Stand Up and Stand Out

Who are the favorite people in your life…and why are they your favorites?

I have been reflecting on why some folks simply stand out over others. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with age, and I have both males and females on my list. Their career paths are all different, and their religious preferences are just as diverse. So, why is it that certain people make more of an impression? Are they highly intellectual? Are they wealthy and do they buy you things? Do they compliment you a lot? Are they active in their community?

While these may or may not describe certain individuals, none are reasons, to me, to look up to anyone in particular. I think, instead, it has to do with going the extra mile.

I had an aunt who would frequently have a houseful of guests and she always made each one of them comfortable. She always asked me about things that mattered to me. Another aunt was a guidance counselor. When I was in high school, not knowing a direction for my life, she provided me with one of her testing tools to help me learn more about myself.  I have known several priests and pastors who impressed me because they were able to relate to their congregations on all levels, providing direction for all. They asked penetrating questions and cared about the answers. Moreover, they remembered people and things about them.

My friends care enough to know the things I like and don’t like. One friend gave me milk chocolate for Christmas – because she remembered I prefer it over dark chocolate! Another friend notices the little things, too, and chooses her gifts accordingly. She knows that I like to write…so she gave me a journal with a challenge to make an entry every day about the good things that happen. She  thoughtfully chooses what she does for someone based upon their likes, as well as their needs.

Some people are very proactive for certain causes and are great mentors – they are the ones I long to emulate. They provide inspiration.

Stand-out people care enough to make a difference.

Do you think that you stand out in somebody’s life? Would you like to be that kind of person? Start by paying attention to the little things. Recognize those you care about. Remember. You – and they – will be glad you did!

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The Prisoner's Prayer Book

Louise is author of The Prisoner's Prayer Book which evolved as she became a volunteer in prison ministry. Retired from a career in social services, Louise resides in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.