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Lesson 55: Relationships matter

To have a good friend is one of the highest delights in life; to be a good friend is one of the noblest and most difficult undertakings.

Anonymous

Each human being exists within the context of other human beings, and the quality of our interactions largely determines the quality of our lives, so its important to put some thought and effort into those relationships. Lets review:

First, dont expect the world to come to you. You have to take the initiative and get involved (Lesson 37). In order to have a friend, you must first be a friend yourself (38).

Value your family members and show them your love and appreciation (39). A promise is a promise, and you need to keep the ones you make (40). It takes very little effort to smile, and the rewards are out of all proportion to the costs (41).

Be humble, but not too humble (42). When youre wrong, dont make excuses. Apologize swiftly, emphatically, and sincerely (43). Feel and show appreciation for others, for what they accomplish, and for what they do for you (44).

Its simple, really. Be nice (45). Be tolerant by expanding your definition of what you like and by refusing to be hurt by the insensitivity of others (46). Be deserving of both trust and faith (47). Dont be afraid to laugh at yourself. Life is a lot more fun if you dont take yourself too seriously (48).

Be willing to say those things that need to be said, even when its hard to do so (49). Life has little meaning without love, so love deeply and freely (50). Understand that trying to change another human being is a losers game (51).

The world offers limitless opportunities, but you cant have it all. Some choices can have a tremendous effect either positive or negative on your relationships, so choose carefully and try to maintain balance in all things (52).

Great relationships are all about sharing sharing of material possessions, money, time, kind words, and love (53). Finally, cherish the tremendous variety of people, personalities, religions, and cultures around you (54). By valuing diversity, you open up possibilities you never knew existed. And those possibilities can make young adulthood a beautiful, exciting, magnificent time of growth.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.