When we speak of how people have upset us, 

we are not ridding ourselves of our frustration. 

We are dumping it on others. 

“Phew, now I feel better.”

But what about the other person? What if they are no better than we are at letting frustration roll off our backs like water off a duck’s? Even though they didn’t experience what we did, they can still pick up the pain we are feeling, and compound it with their affection for us. 

It’s as if we’re clearing our backyard of rubbish by dumping it in someone else’s.

Even though those who care about us willingly listen to our ranting and whinging, is it fair to ask them to? We’re not showing we care about them when we’re offloading our rubbish onto them.

Instead of being so wrapped up in our irritation that we uncontrollably heap our suffering on another, we need to stop the garbage from leaving our backyard. How about turning it into compost! Mix it with patience and dilute it with forgiveness.

Replace the bad with the good, and transform that garbage into something useful.



After asking a question and receiving the reply,

remember to say “thank you.” 

If our parents were looking over our shoulder while we are emailing, they’d likely be shocked. “You forgot ‘thank you’!”

In an impersonal age of instantaneous communication, courtesy is too often relegated to the distant past. For example, a person emails another, perhaps with a question of how to do something. Perhaps asking a favor. The recipient stops what she’s doing to carefully compose a reply. It might be what the person needed to know; it might be regret for not being able to help.

She hits send.

And that’s it.

End of conversation.

It’s the end because the person who wrote the first email doesn’t respond with “thank you.” Or anything else. It’s akin to their asking for something, having it given to them, and, firmly grasping it in their hand, without a word turning and walking away. Most of us wouldn’t do this. And yet many don’t email “thank you.” We need to. Why?

It’s polite.

Politeness not a good enough reason? You may want to ask for another favor.