A few years back, I complained to my mom that I had way too much baby weight and she said she had the solution - ta dah - magic nylons!

She promptly sent me a pair in the mail, and as I held them up, they looked kinda small, but she assured me they would stretch and be just right. I tugged, pulled and smushed myself into them and off to church I went.

While standing in front of a group of adults and children, I could feel the magic nylons snap and down they went. I managed to lock my knees to prevent them from descending to my ankles and there I stood for over an hour; despite the stares and confusion as I did not budge.

Mercifully, the time came when I could finally run to fix them. I wondered why these magic nylons worked for my mom and not for me. After some thought it occurred to me that the reason was probably the 10 inch difference in our height and also quite a few pounds. The nylons were meant for her size - not mine.

I've thought about this experience many times over the years. How often do I, do any of us, compare ourselves to others?

Don't compare

Instead of realizing and appreciating our unique differences, we want to be the same - or wear the same nylons.

More often than not, we overshadow our very own exceptional talents and skills in a cloud of insecurity; choking out the rays of capability we should shine, to help others with our own significant light.

We marvel at a snowflake and how each is unique, making this point to our children so they can understand in a basic fashion the differences in people. Why do we lose this perspective as adults? We, as God's greatest creation, are supposed to be different.

Recognize your worth

Maybe media contributes, possibly the race to be like a certain person, or to have the same as another, dims the light of self-assurance. Tragically, you may never have been told or taught how vital and irreplaceable you are, and must find this knowledge on your own.

Whatever the case may be, you are denying the tremendous influence that you could share to lift others in their walk of life IF you do not expand your understanding of your own great worth.

Recognize the difference

Look at your uniqueness. What if you don't readily see your gifts? Look again and ask for help. Ask a family member, a friend, pray, ask until you get answers. Then believe!

You cannot build others, if you are tearing yourself down. You cannot truly love another, if you do not like yourself, which is a basic fact. You are God's creation, and because of this, you do have value, you have worth, you have much to offer, you are priceless. As you come to know and accept this more and more, that opens your ability to appreciate others and their remarkable abilities.

Appreciate the difference

Stop comparing and embrace the differences. You will relish our own beauty as well as another person's attractiveness. It is only right to encourage others in their own distinctive personality, because that action and thought, naturally increases your capacity to love yourself and those you are associated with at a deeper level. This level of acceptance allows us to positively, and encouragingly, affect another soul for good.

Celebrate the difference

Just as nylons come in different sizes, colors, brands and styles, we do too. It is good, it is right; it is the way it was meant to be. The world would be so much less without every single human being, who is irreplaceable, distinctive and extraordinarily priceless. And that includes you and me as the greatest creations on this wonderful earth.

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