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The Difference in Difference Makers

There is a definitive, undeniable truth to the statement, "We all just want the same things." It is true that each person I have ever met wants to be heard, understood, appreciated for who they are, and respected. It is also true that "we all" do not share the same belief systems, traditions, core values, and goals. The cultural system we grew up in, established and intricately wove our core beliefs, traditions, values and goals within our character. We are who we are because of our experiences and backgrounds. I have never met a person who didn't want to make a difference. We are passionate people and want to see a change in the things that matter to us.

Today we advocate for our voice to be heard...for our students' voice to be heard. We instill in our children that they can make a difference. But...are we showing them how? Are we teaching them, better yet, are we modeling for them how to do that...in a positive way? Are we helping them to understand that differences in opinion are ok and should be honored? Are we showing them through our own actions that we can love other people and be kind to them...even when we disagree with them? Today it seems that if we do not agree with someone then it's a deal breaker. We can't be friends with someone who doesn't share the same beliefs as us. We are limiting ourselves, our learning, and our experiences when we do this.

The difference in Difference Makers is an attitude of inclusion, love, and support. You see a difference maker understands that their passion for something may not always be shared. They are able to discuss their beliefs and understand that people have different views. They can love people who are different than them because they know and understand that their beliefs and passions are just as important to them as their own.

There are so many issues today and we make those issues worse by being intolerant to people. I may have a different opinion from you, but know that I am not going to condemn you, dissolve a friendship, or refuse to start a friendship with you over our differences.

I watched so many people during the last presidential election refuse to share who they voted for out of fear that they would be judged, excommunicated, or berated for their views. There was no room for discussion. You either believed what they believed or you were deemed an idiot. This was the overall attitude on both sides. What example did this set for our children, our future voters...our first-time voters? My nephew voted for the first time in this election and it broke my heart to see his first-time experience be so different than mine. I remembered the excitement I had about voting and the desire I had to share what I had learned from my research into each candidate. The conversations I had during that first-time experience were educational, supportive, and thought-provoking.  I did not see any of that in his experience. What I saw instead was the same desire I had to vote, but it was done through a very cautious and private journey.

What message are we sending our kids? That it's okay to have an opinion and want to make a difference...as long as it's the same as mine, because if it's not then we have a problem. This is not the difference we want to make...is it?

The difference in Difference Makers is a desire to make the world a better place.

Difference Makers live by the Golden Rule...treat others the way you want to be treated. I want to be allowed to have my opinion and not be afraid to share it. I want my kids to grow up in a world where opinions are just that, opinions...not facts. We teach our kids, in writing, that opinions are not right or wrong, but do we show them that in our daily lives, the way we treat others who have different beliefs, the way we react to opinions that differ from ours?

The difference in Difference Makers is that they live with a goal to radiate respect from everything they do. Every part of them wants what is best for their communities, their country, their world. They lead with love. Their end goal is for the people around them to feel loved and supported. They have a hope that their words and actions will leave the people who have been in their presence feeling stronger, appreciated, and cared for. Their legacy is that they were caring, determined, and made you and the world feel like anything is possible when love is at the center.

The difference in Difference Makers is that they set the example for what we all should hope to be.

I challenge you to be a Difference Maker.

Liz
Author of Redefined
@SavageLizabeth
#RedefinedED



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