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112 How to succeed by being nice

Happiness is not something that is forced upon us. We achieve it by expanding into our opportunities and improving our circumstances. The improving we do, not the attention we are given, is the foundation of our happiness.

The strength we radiate will attract, not compel, the better social order we seek. Our examples must persuade others that we are happy. Persuasion is only one aspect. The bigger principle is that we improve everything worthwhile by being nice.

66 Teach me!

Last week’s invitation to disagree served many purposes. You immediately realized that you are safe here and do not have to agree with the owner. That reassurance lets you value the knowledge you bring. Your sense of value stimulates your growth toward your own goal, and you benefit. There is another dimension to the story: your effect on me. When you know something I do not know, it is my turn to learn from you. There is an adage that the teacher learns more than the pupil. Usually this refers to the research required to have something to teach. I …

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55 Self stands in the way

One afternoon before reaching teen-age, I did battle with my mother. There was something about school that I thought she did not understand from my viewpoint. I stormed out of the house angry. There was a friendly nature park in the lot behind our house. After a half-hour walk in the park, I returned completely calmed and ready to drop my case. My mother had been regrouping in a different way. She met me with a barrage of arguments proving the error of my perspective. That reception did not help me to feel good about swallowing pride and coming around …

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54 Anti-Christ?

The Trauma – An Allegory Three-year-old Miguel pressed tight against the back of the couch, frozen with terror, while the robber bludgeoned Miguel’s aged grandfather to death using the only heavy article in the room: a large heirloom crucifix that had been in the family for decades. Miguel’s parents returned home soon after the robbery murder, found the sobbing child, and began the process of healing with him. Young children are resilient. Family and friends were relieved at Miguel’s recovery. A decade later a proud Miguel bid his parents farewell and set out to the resident mission school. He had …

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