What does it mean to set yourself apart from others around you in a way that is meaningful.
When I first got into the canine section, my new partner had already been assigned a name by the breeder.
It was ridiculous.
It sounded like one of those names that if something were to go wrong the press would immediately crucify you for the sake of a story.
Imagine if a scenario where a police canine was to be in a situation where the wrong person was apprehended, and the dog’s name was Venom or Cujo or some other insanely aggressive name.
The press would be relentless in pursuit of some angle to sell stories regardless of the truth of the story.
The only byproduct would be a dog taken out of service, whose only mistake was the name he was given by a handler.
One of the guys in my unit named his first dog Elvis.
Even the bad guys were oddly happy when they realized they had been tracked down by Elvis.
They wore it like a badge of honor.
I wanted my dog to have a majestic name. It was my wife that actually picked it.
We named him Rogue.
There are several definitions, however what it meant for me was “To Stand Apart From The Pack”.
The characteristics or traits he possessed were unlike any other dog I had worked with.
Loyalty, Courage, Strength and Confidence.
All of these are admirable qualities which I believe are worthy of developing in ourselves.
Listen, we are living in a time when our baseline values have eroded to the point we no longer recognize our society. It seems that someone who possesses these qualities today is one who stands apart.
The moral and ethical foundations on which our countries have been built have been discarded for quick fixes, instant gratification and the easy road.
The new generation has lost some of the old ways that will keep them anchored when the going gets tough.
You can help them rediscover what it means to have a well developed character built on values.
There are some messages we need to carry and demonstrate in our daily life to emulate the ideals we want to instill and be reflected in those around us.
Now more than ever having a strong character will help you Stand Apart, and our youth as well.
You see, it is important to understand that impressing people is a very different thing than being impressive.
One demonstrates a lack of confidence where the other amplifies confidence.
Don’t be afraid to lose, the battle is lost to those who never try. Have the courage to engage and to grow.
The moment we believe there is nothing left to learn is the moment we lose.
To Stand Apart you must take personal responsibility for who, what, and where you are in life. The only person responsible for your situation is you.
People don’t own you. No one owes you a living. The life you lead is because of the choices you’ve made.
How you spend your time and with whom you’ve chosen to spend it with is completely up to you.
In order to Stand Apart you must understand you are responsible for your actions and the environment and state you live in.
The power to change and grow is in you. It will define your character.
Strength of Character is equally as important as physical strength.
Exercise your values.
Don’t be afraid to own your mistakes.
Find balance in your perspectives and those of others. Be open to opposition. Stop being offended.
Don’t be so small as to run from a friend who finds themselves facing a challenge. Remind people of their contribution, commitment and good deeds.
Never allow the focus of a single incident be representative of a friend if it is within your power to do so.
Be a loyal partner. It’s easy to get sucked into gossiping and chattering. Your power lies in your ability to remain silent in or stop discussions which do nothing to elevate others.
Be grateful for your failures, for without them you would not have learned to succeed.
Take the risk you have wanted to take. The regret of many of our elderly population is that they played life too safe.
Work on being the person you want to be. The one who possesses the characteristics to lead and protect.
The one who Stands Apart. The Wolf.