There’s something peculiar about you. (But don’t worry, it’s a good thing!)
“I hope nobody thinks I’m weird …”
This thought has probably crossed all of our minds before. It’s scary to think about, right? Not fitting in. Being different. Could there be anything worse than that?
Actually, could there be anything better than that? Being able to be yourself and uphold your standards and be different from the rest of the world is one of the greatest accomplishments you could ever achieve! In fact, in his worldwide devotional for youth this past June, President Russell M. Nelson invited us all to “stand out; be different from the world.”
Every day, we see and hear about a lot of lifestyle choices that are completely different from our own. Sometimes even our friends may make choices that don’t align with our standards, and they may give us puzzled looks when they don’t understand why we don’t do or say certain things. When this happens, the pressure to fit in can definitely get heavy. But that’s the keyword here: fitting in. Fitting in can be seen as different from belonging. (Read how Annie from California stood up for what was right—even though it wasn’t popular.)
Fitting in can mean changing yourself and your standards to be like everyone else, while belonging can mean being loved and accepted for who you are, including your standards that may be different from the world. Strive for belonging, for friends who love you for who you are—your differences and all. As President Nelson said, “Embrace being different!” (Read “Finding and Being True Friends.”)
Though some people may not fully understand why you do or you don’t do certain things, you never know how your example in living like a true disciple of Christ will affect others. Your friends may notice a certain peculiarity about you when you keep your standards high and when you make good choices. While they may not have the gift of the Holy Ghost, your friends do have the Light of Christ, a divine power that allows us to discern right from wrong and leads us to the truths of the gospel—and that light will help them recognize your good example. (Watch “Sharing Your Light.”)
“Therefore, the Lord needs you to look like, sound like, act like, and dress like a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” said President Nelson. You can live differently than the rest of the world! We don’t usually have to do anything extravagant to stand out from the world—just living the way a true disciple of Christ would live is enough to share light with others. (Read “NOT of the World.”) And if you are sometimes called “weird”? “Wear that distinction as a badge of honor and be happy that your light is shining brightly in this ever-darkening world!” said President Nelson.
So in the end, there’s no reason to worry about being different from the world around you. You were born to stand out. You have a brilliant purpose here on the earth. As President Nelson taught, “With the Holy Ghost as your companion, you can see right through the celebrity culture that has smitten our society. You can be smarter than previous generations have ever been. And if you are sometimes called ‘weird,’ wear that distinction as a badge of honor and be happy that your light is shining brightly in this ever-darkening world! Set a standard for the rest of the world! Embrace being different!”
How do you embrace being different and let your light shine?