Do you realize the effect you have on others? Sometimes it’s not until a person passes on that there is any real appreciation of the impact they have had on their world.

Do you take the time to let others know what they mean to you? Sometimes all it takes is a quick thank you or a smile or simply taking the time to really listen to what they have to say.

It is said that the Queen Mother – Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, mother of the current Queen of England – really loved people and that she had the ability to make people feel as if they really mattered. That is a great gift to have. What does this say about such people? These are people who are at peace within themselves who truly love themselves. Not in a selfish way but in a genuine acceptance and enjoyment of themselves and of life. You cannot give to others what you do not have.

Today, perhaps more than at any other time, it is important to be kind and considerate of oneself and of others. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everyone or letting people walk all over you. It simply means having empathy and feeling for where they are coming from.

It is good to take note of and appreciate what is important to you. Is it to have more things or to feel better than others? Or is it the simple things of life that bring you pleasure and joy? Take a moment to reflect on what brings you pleasure each day. It could be something that someone does for you that fills you with delight. It could be an unexpected phone call from someone saying they just wanted to chat. It could be completing a task that you have been putting off and feeling satisfied that you finally did it. It could be receiving some positive feedback from a student or a client.

If you watch people around you on the buses and trains you may see many acts of kindness and courtesy. Sometimes it’s a laugh, a smile or a thank you to the bus driver as the person gets on or off the bus. These little courtesies can make a person’s day.

Have you ever watched the movie “The Wizard of Oz”? The main character, Dorothy, portrayed by Judy Garland, longed for a place where there isn’t any trouble. This is when she bursts into song singing, “Somewhere over the rainbow… there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby… where happy little blue birds fly above the rainbow… why, oh, why can’t I?”

Towards the end of the movie she declares, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again I won’t look further than my own backyard because if it isn’t there I never really lost it to begin with.” Her adventure into the mythical land of Oz made her realize that there is no place like home. How beautifully this story shares that the simple things of life are the things we really treasure and they are right there in front of us all the time.

It’s important to be civil to ourselves by acknowledging all the good we have in our life and to be civil to others by appreciating each person, their good qualities and accomplishments.

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