Artist: Henry Hintermeister (1897-1970)

God has given each one of us a special path using our personalities, our individuality, our talents, etc. We  have the wherewithal to change our world. Let’s do it!

The Catholic Book of Character and Success by Fr. Edward F. Garesche

Be Yourself!

The wise Creator of mankind made us all just a little different, and it is our differences and not our similarities that make us interesting.

The great benefactors of mankind and the geniuses who enriched human nature and history have always been brave enough to be different from their fellows, and it was by their differences that they conferred a benefit on the human race.

You may not be a genius, since these are rare, and you may never be able to put humanity into your debt by your achievements, but you have a little circle of friends and acquaintances who depend a great deal upon you for their entertainment and cheer and for help in other ways.

It is by being brave enough to be individual and by cultivating your agreeable differences from others that you can help them.

Tendencies, talents, and preferences all differ extraordinarily in different individuals. If you yield to bashfulness and timidity and insist upon being like everyone else, the nice individuating tones in your character, the points in which you are capable of being interesting and helpful, will be, in great part, lost, and you will become a humdrum sort of person, uninteresting and unhelpful.

Is it not refreshing to meet a man or woman who is a real individual with personal enthusiasms and personal talents and characteristics?

Just as you look on others, so they look on you. You have some special talent in you. It may be for music, for art, or perhaps for entertaining or public speaking; perhaps it is a mechanical ingenuity that devises amusements for others.

Whatever this talent of yours may be, get it out and have a look at it, and see whether you are using it to the utmost. Not for your own benefit only, but for the benefit of others as well, that little talent of yours ought to be kept in active working order and to be trotted out on occasion without bashfulness or undue timidity.

People may become humdrum and monotonous because there is such a strong tendency in the modern world to be standardized and conformed to fashions and customs.

Everyone has to think the same ideas, to hold the same opinions, to wear the same sort of clothes, to read the same magazines and books. Individuality and spontaneous freshness are pushed out by this sort of uniformity.

Notice that this very monotony puts differences at a premium. When people look for a place to visit, they choose their destination because it has something to recommend it that other places have not. It may be the scenery, some special amusements or sports, or the climate. It is not the sameness of the city that attracts visitors, but its individual and pleasant differences.

Some cities are beginning to realize this and are deliberately making themselves different by establishing special attractions, or cultivating a special style of architecture, or doing some other thing to make it worthwhile to go there rather than anywhere else.

It is the same way with individuals. People are continually looking not for mediocre, average, commonplace, individuals, but for those who have some difference, some individuality, some special talent or power.

Those who are responsible for great businesses complain that one of their chief difficulties is to find good executives, those who stand out for their individual capacity and power to bear responsibility.

It has always been true in the professions as in business that there is plenty of room at the top. The person who is different from his fellows, more highly qualified, more expert and skillful, has always found ample opportunities.

This is eminently true nowadays for several reasons. One is that the standardized education of today, with its tendency to reduce everybody to a common level, has resulted in an epidemic of mediocrity in which specially qualified people are relatively rare.

Another reason is that the vast multiplication of opportunities and the resulting needs for leadership have made it necessary to find a larger number of highly qualified workers than before.

For both these reasons, you will be wise if you deliberately cultivate your individual differences. Be yourself, and do not allow the fear of ridicule or your natural bashfulness or timidity or any other deterring influence to keep you from being yourself.

God made you with some special talents, capacities, powers, interests, and good inclinations. By judiciously cultivating these, you will make yourself agreeable and efficient, and you will find that place in the world of men and of affairs which you are specially qualified to fill.

Martyrdom by the little fires of hidden fidelities constantly adhered to, of tormenting temptations courageously and perseveringly repulsed, of the exact and loving fulfillment of duties toward God and neighbor, of prayer faithfully practiced despite disgust, aridity and the pressure of work–is it not a martyrdom? Who can estimate the value of its countless offerings which are not publicized but which cost . . . and which count! -Christ in the Home

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The saints assure us that simplicity is the virtue most likely to draw us closer to God and make us more like Him.

No wonder Jesus praised the little children and the pure of heart! In them, He recognized the goodness that arises from an untroubled simplicity of life, a simplicity which in the saints is completely focused on its true center, God.

That’s easy to know, simple to say, but hard to achieve.

For our lives are complicated and our personalities too. (We even make our prayers and devotions more complicated than they need be!)

In these pages, Fr. Raoul Plus provides a remedy for the even the most tangled lives.

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