.....relationships! And, the most rewarding part about this life is relationships!
The Hard Part: Just when I think I've made peace with myself and others around me something else pops up and knocks me back a few steps. To me, some of the most important phrases in the English language (or any language) are: "please," "thank you/you're welcome," "I'm sorry/I forgive you," "I love you." I know I don't say those things (and mean it) nearly as often as I should, nor do I hear them as often as I would like to. Maybe we are so comfortable with each other that we tend to forget that sincere acts of courtesy might help when nothing else could. Maybe we don't think they are necessary. However, a little bit of kindness goes a long, long way, especially with the ones we love the most.
It takes less time, effort, emotional energy.... less of everything to avoid going to a place where we know we'll get lost and have a really hard time finding the way back. Follow the "road signs" and get there safely, whole and happier. No shortcuts, no half-hearted excuses for taking a different route, just follow the path. Sounds pretty simple. It's just hard to always do! I know, I take detours all the time and end up regretting them -- every time.
The Rewards: Peace, Unity, Courtesy (meant and felt by all), Security (the opposite of insecurity), Sympathy and Empathy, Unbreakable Bonds of Love. Is there anything better?
The Challenge: [Message to self] Do it! Today and Everyday!