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Under the Influence

20 Aug

Every day as we go about our lives, we are exposed to other people. We may talk with them, spend time with them, and get to know them. As we share our lives, we learn things about each other, and we have the opportunity to exchange ideas. They will learn from us, and we will learn from them. What we learn depends on our relationship with them, their authority over us, our respect for them, and how they live their lives. If they are people we admire, we will appreciate their influence, and may try to emulate them. And the same is true for them. If they admire us, they will appreciate us, and may adopt some of our behaviors and actions.

We are responsible for everything we do, and we must answer for every action, both positive and negative. That responsibility includes how our behaviors affect others. If we are rude and mean, and negatively impact someone else, we will answer for that. Defending bad behavior, saying we learned it from our families, or we are just giving back what we’ve been given, will not excuse us from hurting others. There is no excuse that will take away hurt feelings. However, if we are kind and patient, and lift those around us, we will answer for those attributes as well. We rarely, if ever, receive any blessings in our lives when we are badly behaved. When we hurt others through commission or omission, it does not elevate us. If this is a pattern in our personalities, the chances for personal growth and development will be hindered. But if we are kind and gracious, if we are patient and helpful, rewarding blessings will return to us.

When we are considerate to those around us, they are often considerate to us in return. If those we interact with come to know us as patient and caring, and as someone they can trust, we are more likely to build strong relationships that are positive. Because everything we do affects those around us, it’s important to remember that although we have the right to live our lives any way we see fit, almost everything we do will impact someone near us. We can be the ones who set the standard for kindness, who wait a little longer and are a bit more patient, and who offer encouragement instead of criticism. If we do these things, those around us will find comfort in their relationships with us. There is already enough suffering in the world. We can do our part to ensure we don’t increase it by being kind, caring, patient, and loving, and making sure our influence is positive.

Today take care and pay attention to your behavior when you interact with others. Remember to be patient and show you care so that those around you will learn they can trust you, and be comfortable with you. Be kind, be caring, and be supportive. You will never regret the blessings you will gain. Share the good you have to offer. It will return to you tenfold.

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