As Henry David Thoreau said, “you are a marvel.” Everyone on our planet different and special in their own way.
You have unique gifts and talents. You have a unique personality and style. You think and feel differently than others do. Your likes and dislikes are not exactly the same as other people. You may have different skin, hair, illness, family, religion and language than others.
You should be grateful for all of these differences. Things would be pretty boring if everyone was the same. Our differences make the world a very interesting place.
Your uniqueness is also a gift to you. Your special qualities can help you be the best version of yourself and to reach your potential.
In fact, many people who have made the greatest difference in the world were very, very different themselves. As Albert Einstein once said, “The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.”
But sometimes it can be very hard to be yourself. Many times, other kids want you to be just like them. And when you are not, they may give you a hard time. You may not feel like you fit it with others.
When this happens, things can become complicated. Some people try to change themselves to be what others want them to be. Others, take a different approach and try hard to make themselves appear different just to stand out.
In both cases, they are changing themselves to impress others. Neither of these paths has a heart. As Taylor Swift said, “Just be yourself. There is no one better.”
So just be true to yourself, be a good person and treat others the way you would like to be treated. This may not always be the easiest path, but it is the one that will help you become all that you can be.
Now check out some other inspiring quotes about being different and being yourself:
- “The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.” – Albert Einstein
- “You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything.” – Henry David Thoreau
- “Not all who wander are lost.” – Gandolf
- “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost.
- “Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!” – Mandy Hale
- “We must never be afraid to be a sign of contradiction for the world.” – Mother Teresa
- “Your lucky enough to be different, never change” – Taylor Swift
- “We are all born originals.” – Edward Young
- “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy
- “I am different. Not less.” – Temple Grandin
- “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
- “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou
- “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – Winnie The Pooh
- “I want to say when I was little, like Maleficent, I was told I was different. And I felt out of place and too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in. And then one day I realized something – something I hope you all realize. Different is good. When someone tells you that you are different, smile and hold your head up and be proud.” – Angelina Jolie
- “By being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliott
- “Kites rise high against the wind, not with it.” – Winston Churchil
- “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau
- “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” – Coco Chanel
- “Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.” – Luna Lovegood
- “Don’t doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.” – Aslan
- “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”- Anita Roddick
- “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”- Oprah Winfrey
- “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Inc.
- “Do not choose to be wrong for the sake of being different.”
- “I think every person has their own identity and beauty. Everyone being different is what is really beautiful. If we were all the same, it would be boring.” – Tila Tequila
- “People have a problem with me being different, but that propels me forward in life.” – Mary-Louise Parker
- “To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings
- “Being different is good; embrace it.” – Simon Cowell
- “Insist on yourself; never imitate.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
- “When someone is nasty or treats you poorly, don’t take it personally. It says nothing about you, but a lot about them.” – Michael Josephson
- “You can make life very simple or very complicated. Some people try to be what others want them to be. Others try to be different just to stand out. In both cases, they are changing themselves to impress others. Neither of these paths has a heart. Just be true to yourself. It’s that simple.” – Mike Stutman
- “Take care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life.” – Meg Medina
Topics for Discussion:
- What are your special gifts, talents, likes and dislikes? How do you think you are you different than other people?
- What at your top 3 quotes from the list above? Why?
- What does it take to be yourself?
- Can you think of someone who you look up to who is different than other people?
- Have you ever changed yourself to try to impress others? Have you ever put someone down because they were different? How did this feel?
- Write down 5 of your biggest strengths and unique qualities. Keep this list by your bed and look at it every week to remind yourself what makes you you!
- Write down 3 ways that you can improve how you treat others who are different. Go out and do it! Today.
- Visit the Kids Caring 4 Kids website to learn about this great organization of kids who practice tolerance and how you can get involved!
Teacher and Parent Features:
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
- Here is a great article about teaching tolerance to kids
- Check out our growing list of Lesson Plans that can be used alongside our quotes and articles