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Keeping Score
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, June 2011

Whether or not you treat someone kindly does not need to be something you negotiate. If you value the person (on any level), or understand that they were an important part of your life at one time (even if you are no longer as involved with them as you once were) consider behaving with them in a manner that honors who they were or the relationship you once had.

Only you can determine the kind of person you are, and the choices you make regarding how you relate to other people reflects who you are. Those choices are yours to make. You can NEVER go wrong if your choose the high road. You will enrich your soul and hence, your life.

The reason you choose the high road (or the "right" choice) is not because you seek acknowledgement or appreciation (because neither may come to you). Rather, you choose to behave this way because somewhere deep inside (your inner voice, or some gut feeling), lets you know it is correct. Perhaps, you will recognize that it is the way you would like to be treated (whether or not this person treats you that way). Even though it is not the reason to do it, many times, when you "do the right thing" you will likely receive positive treatment. When your attitude and actions demonstrate that you value people (which is what you do when you do the right thing) you will likely feel better about yourself and the world.

When you choose not to "do the right thing" there is a high probability that you will feel badly about yourself and your choice. You may feel that you disappointed yourself and did not live up to a standard that you know you can reach. When this happens, you can feel disappointed and your sense of self can be diminished. You may feel that you have less control of your life and your ability to have an effect on the world.

When you are at a social crossroads, think about the positive effect of making the "right" choice and visualize what the outcome can be for you. This is a helpful motivator.

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