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Written by Brent Knight, President of ISS

We made it to 2022, a new year filled with new opportunities and good change. Wait a minute, a few weeks in and it feels like more of 2020 and 2021.

True, we are still talking about the pandemic, the world feels a bit like it is off its axis and we remain a bit tired. What should we think? What comes next? What should we do?

I feel like it is easy to get sucked into the negative stuff going on which creates anxiety, but is it worth it? Certainly not. If we really look around us, we have family, friends, the beauty of the landscape around us, hopefully, good health, we are paying our bills and life is not really that bad. Now I am not arguing that life might be challenging, but I would argue that we still have it pretty good.

I may be among the first to get frustrated when things are not going right, but the last two years have forced me to review my perspective. I am lucky enough to be involved in Boy Scouts and get to participate in different fund-raising events. In doing so, we really get to see the good and generosity in people. Sure, we see the other side as well, but the thoughtfulness of the few really makes a difference and reinforces how many kind and thoughtful people are out there.

Now, to get to the point of this blog article, we reap what we sow. If we make an active daily effort to treat others with patience and kindness, we are more likely to see it reciprocated. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone will respond as you hope but focus on the intention. By setting the example, you give others the choice to treat you and the people around them with respect. You wear your mask; they might do the same. You hold the door for them, they may do so for others. You say good morning or have a great day, they might do the same.

I am a strong believer that when we emulate the behaviors that we want to see, we are much more likely to see them. Sure, it might be simpler said than done, but give it a try. Start by looking at others without assumption or judgment, by treating them with respect, courtesy and kindness and you will be doing your part to make the world a better place and to bring people together.