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Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I try to treat everyone like they are a child of God. We all have the same creator and as such initially deserve to be treated with respect. Not everyone is perfect, and we have to allow for shortcomings in other people. I’ve found, though, that by treating people with caring and respect, usually gets a positive response. It enables and invites communication. That means you can learn more about others, and see a qualities in them that might not be readily apparent.

This doesn’t always work — I can invite someone to reciprocate, but that doesn’t mean they will. They may have no interest in me, my personality, my values, whatever; I may find that they’re not very nice, but that doesn’t change my behavior. Some people expect to be ignored or be invisible, and they close themselves off from interaction. I’ve learned that you can find gems of wisdom from people whom you wouldn’t expect to be wise. I’ve found kindness in people who are very different from me, and I think how sad it would have been to marginalize them or have a preconceived notion of what they’re like or what they might think. Reaching out and making another person feel valued can open up new view of the world we live in and the people who inhabit it.

I’m not looking for everyone to be my best friend. I have only a few of those, but I come in contact with a lot of people as we all do, and if I can leave them feeling a little better, more positive, or put a smile on their face, that make me happy. We lead such a fast paced life and each have so much on our agendas, that we sometimes forget to be in the moment and take pleasure in what’s right in front of us, and often that’s another person.