Was the Prophet different from the people of his time?
Yes, the Prophet, (May the blessing and peace of God be upon him), was different from them in many ways:
1- The Prophet, (May the blessing and peace of God be upon him), was so well mannered and well bred that all people of Mecca, (although they were not Muslims yet) used to call him the sincere honest man, and although they disliked him, he was a safe bank for them as they saved all their valuable things with him.
2- He didn't use to take part in their festivals in which they worshiped idols and offered sacrifices for them, he, (May the blessing and peace of God be upon him), never prostrated for an idol.
3- In his youth, the Prophet, (May the blessing and peace of God be upon him), never had fun nor had the desire of amusing oneself like all the other young people of his age. Once when he wanted to watch an amusing festival, God the Glorious made him fall asleep and was awaken up by the hot sun of the morning so as to be preserved from taking part in the deeds of ignorant people (pre-Islamic people), this happened to him twice.
4- Prophet Muhammad, (May the blessing and peace of God be upon him), used to go once a year to the Cave of Hiraa in Mecca and stay there for a month worshiping God, following the way of his father Abraham and thinking deeply of the creatures of God.
5- He was safely kept by God the Preserver, from the bad deeds of ignorant people. He neither drank wine nor committed adultery although they were so common at that time. He was so fair and did not oppress anyone that people loved him more than they loved their parents. The best example for that was Zaid Ibn-Ha'rethah, who was a servant of Khadijah, (the Prophet's wife) and she gave him to the Prophet.
Zaid's family and relatives searched for the boy, they found him at the Prophet's, so they came to take him offering a big sum of money. The Prophet allowed them to take the boy without money, but he asked them to ask Zaid's opinion, whether to go with them or to stay with the Prophet. They stayed with the boy for three nights to bargain with him, but the boy preferred to stay with the prophet, this was before prophecy. This made the prophet adopt him; it also shows how good treatment the prophet had.