Like everyone else ...If we were all the same, then there would only be one fingerprint on record. If we were all the same, we would not need photo ID’s. If we were all the same, why bother with DNA samples and testing.

Margaret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” We are unique, like everyone else, and that uniqueness allows us to differentiate and distinguish our selves from one another. We distinguish our selves by how we look and how we act. And people make the distinction, they determine who we are and how they will relate to us based on our looks and actions.

You might say that we are always on stage. Whether it is a perfect stranger, our children or friends and acquaintances, they all have an opinion on our performance. It is best to give your best performance.

Some people prefer to distinguish them selves by their looks. They change or enhance their looks to make a statement. They may decide to wear make up or a special shirt and jacket. They may choose to alter their body. Having surgical procedures like liposuction and injectable fillers or just moving, removing or adding parts.

We see a prevalence of tattoos and facial/body jewelry today. It is perfect for a specific environment but can give an undesirable response in another environment. It’s like wearing a bikini to church. Right look, wrong place. The jewelry can be removed but tattoos are forever.

Some people distinguish themselves by their actions. Our actions represent a 24/7 performance. We are always on stage. From snoring at night to snoring during your boss’s presentation, it is the same performance but two different theaters. One performance gets a nudge while the other performance gets you fired.

The action may be the same but the presentation varies. The mood of the day, the emotional state at the moment, will affect the response to your performance. Greeting the kids when you come home may be a little different if you just ran over Johnny’s bike and got a flat tire.

Did you ever hear a young person say that some day I want to be a soldier or a doctor, or a fireman or ‘just like you, dad’ ? They may never have met a soldier, a doctor or a fireman but they see what they do. Those professionals can have a generational affect on peoples lives. And what about parents? What a great compliment to a dad or mom when their children emulate them. That is a generational response from how the parents relate to each other, to the people around them, and most important, to their children. Mom and Dad, you are always on stage. The little eyes see much more that the little ears can hear.

It’s important to remember that we are always on stage and that we want to give our best performance. There is always an audience out there. The actor prepares and practices for every performance. We don’t have that luxury. We get the script and walk on stage. That means we must be ready to perform 24/7.

In the new book, “Grandpa And Andy … a grandfather’s handbook” Grandpa explains to little Andy about being respectful, looking his best, and making Grandpa proud. He says, “Andy, you and I are always on stage.”

Next: America is the place where equality permits us to strive to be unequal.