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PREPARE YOUR EYES TO READ AND YOUR HEART TO RECEIVE AS YOU TAKE IN THE WORDS THAT LOOK TO CHANGE LIVES, RENEW HEARTS, AND OPEN MINDS. How much do you value the opinion of others? Can you imagine doing or going through situations such as spending money, shedding tears, changing the way you think, taking on different personas, code-switching, or befriending people to impress and gain their admiration? Well, there is no reason to imagine because this is everyday life. The opinions of others have made people spend money that they didn't have, commit suicide, commit crimes, end relationships, and do other horrible things to conform to the expectations of others. People choose to side with people to hide character issues, bad attitudes, or physical flaws to help cover or mask their weaknesses or shortcomings. It's not hard to think that most people's lives revolve around what people think about them. In Matthew 16, even Jesus Christ wanted to know "who do people say he is?" He asked this of his disciples, and then he turned the question back to them and asked, "who do you say I am?" To truly discover how others and your closest friends perceive you is the question to ask when you want to find out if you are the same person you claim to be. Could you handle the answers of who people say you are, or would you care? Suppose I asked you about your life and what you currently find meaningful, fulfilling, or satisfying. Would it involve how much money you had, relationships, employment, new experiences, health, opinions of others, or your quality of life? Another question, "would you rather be judged by 12 or carried by 6?"

My answer is, I want to be carried by 6. Having the opportunity to open my eyes up every morning with the expectation to make a positive difference in someone's life by showing love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness is what I consider a meaningful life. And just because a particular few don't view my actions as such, it shouldn't stop me from being who I am or change my perception of what I was put on this Earth to do. We all have to make decisions based on our knowledge and understanding of the people and situations we deal with daily. Changing who we are for the status quo will not only ruin our character but cost our integrity. So whose opinion matters most? Those of others or your defaults and settings that have allowed you to adapt and survive? "When you don't become fixated on winning the prize or appearing successful, and instead pursue your passions, then you will discover the fulfillment that comes from living by instinct."

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