Living Life as the First One Edition


On a recent trip to Chicago with my family I was sitting in a restaurant downtown and relaxing after finishing my meal.  I decided to sit a while and enjoy watching the people walking by just on the outside of the large glass window.  It never ceases to amaze me how uniquely made each one of us is.

I watched an elderly long gray bearded man walking slowly by with a cane.  Passing him on his left was a young lady with her hair all pretty in a short dress with tennis shoes on.  Right behind her was a young black man with a pressed collared shirt and a briefcase.  Then a dark skinned mother walked by with her hair covered pushing a stroller with one hand and holding the hand of a young boy in the other followed by a bald man with thick glasses and tattoos from the top of his head down through his exposed arms.

Each of these people had some place to go.  None of these knew I was observing them from the other side of the window.

Besides having brief glimpses of how each person looked, I felt like I could ascertain something further about each of the individuals by how they moved.  Some were in a hurry, some walked hunched over, looking at the ground. Others stood up straight, shoulders back, looking confident in each step they took.

As I watched, I thought about how each one of these people came from somewhere and each one was going somewhere.   Each person had a history and a story they could tell about their life.  Questions popped into my mind such as “Were any of these people happy?”, “What brought joy into each person’s life?”, and “Why were they in downtown Chicago over a weekday lunch hour?”

There are an estimated 7.447 billion people alive on our planet and every one of them is made uniquely. The website “” counts births  and deaths, providing a total number of lives on earth any given moment.  I am not sure how accurate it is, but it is interesting to watch.

Have you ever run into someone you know several states away from home in a place you least expect to see someone you know?  With a million possibilities of people you might interact with in a distant location, you spot someone you know and you immediately recognize them. This has happened to me several times including randomly running into a friend on a busy street in Washington D.C. and another friend in a grocery store in the Virgin Islands.

It is amazing that in a crowd of thousands of strangers we can spot a single person we weren’t expecting to see and recognize them.  That is how unique we all are.

We are so unique that if each of us was a painting we would be the first of one edition.

As different as the flow of individuals I observed walking by the restaurant window, each of these become even more complex when you look past the surface to who they are on the inside.

My challenge to you today is first to recognize your uniqueness, your being the first of one edition.  Second, celebrate your uniqueness.  Don’t apologize or feel inferior to anyone else for who you are.  You have been given a gift set unique to you.

Third, identify the blessings that you have received and what you bring to the world.  Determine how you can use your unique equipping to touch and change lives around you.

Ask “What is it that only I can do?”  and “How can I add value to others?”  Choose how you can change the world one life at a time then go out and do it.  Only you can use the rest of your days to make a difference in the lives of others.

You carry who you are everywhere you go.  With one exception, the world is made up of other people.  You are responsible for you.  Springboard your uniqueness to change the world.

And maybe someday you will walk by a window downtown and a stranger you will never meet will wonder if you are being all you were created be.

Just a thought…

Rick Kraft, a South Pasadena High School graduate, is a syndicated columnist, a motivational speaker, a published author, and an attorney.  To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to


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