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“Grandpa, what is this word?” a young child asks his aged grandfather as he holds his little finger on the word in his storybook. 

Grandpa adjusts his readers and stares at the word. 

“Oh that word used to be a widely accepted practice, demonstrated all the time and expressed in so many ways. It didn’t matter who you were, what you believed, what you did or do … everyone was shown it,” the grandpa responded. 

His little grandson looks up at him and asks, “So what happened to it?” 

“Well, people started being taught the opposite of that word,” the grandpa replies with a sound of sadness. “To hate, be angry, just be mean. Be a bully and hostile to anyone who didn’t believe what they believe. To pick fights with people, be an agitator, call others demeaning names and just be ugly.” 

“But Grandpa, what was it like before that?” the curious boy inquires. 

Grandpa paused for a few seconds, took off his readers and stared out the window … pondering his response. After a few moments he looked back at his grandson and began to express to him all the great results of the attitude of the word. The actions by family, friends and even strangers when the word was honored. The attitude of people that made the home, work, school, even driving a more enjoyable experience. 

 

After a few minutes of undivided attention, the little boy looks up at his grandfather and asks, “What happens if I practice that today?” 

Grandpa shook his head and a little sarcastic “hum” came from his mouth. 

“Well son, you’ll discover how people now respond to those who use that word. It may not be pleasant, you will be made fun of, ridiculed and picked on.” 

“But I don’t want to be those other mean people. I think I will choose to do the right thing anyway,” the little boy said with determination as he stared at his grandfather. 

Grandpa picked him up in his arms and gave him a big hug as he whispered in his grandson’s ear, “You go son, be the difference!” 

See this article in the magazine

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