When I go to the beach, I am drawn to the wildlife there.

During my most recent trip, I photographed many birds. One type, in particular, seemed to be outnumbered by those who were different. I photographed him as he was walking alone along the shoreline.

Was the bird lonely? Did he feel outcast or different? I suppose only birds know such things about themselves. I do remember, however, what it felt like to be alone among the crowd.

Many years ago, when I was just beginning my teen years, the school cafeteria was such a place.

Each table was filled with a particular set of friends, talking and laughing. If you were not an active part of such a set, a feeling of not belonging could easily set in.

Feeling that you do not belong anywhere is an open invitation to low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is a willing partner to depression and loneliness.

Although I did experience a sense of "cafeteria displacement" so long ago, encouraging life experiences began to multiply for me, giving birth to confidence and security in social settings and with friends.

Typically being on the other side of situations like these, do I really have any responsibility to those who feel left out….

at church?

at work?

at home?

Should I seize the moment and invite someone to sit with me during church?

Should I choose to sit with a new employee at work when a meeting is called?

Should I make sure that each member of my family feels loved by me?

If we open our eyes to see the faces of those we are with through the lenses of compassion and regard, we can be certain that we will find many who feel downcast and lost among the crowd.

Look over there——is that a bird walking……….alone?



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