“If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them. Do not allow the actions of others to decrease your good manners, because you represent yourself, not others.” ~Mohammad Zeyara. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the actions and choices of others have an influence on how we are feeling in a particular moment. It’s so easy for a single person to change our emotions from good to bad. The hard part is not letting them influence your own behavior and to continue being who you are. Dalai Lama has said, “Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Easier said then done, yes, but he’s right, it is important for us to not succumb to the actions of others and to not let them change who we are or who we are hoping to become. Through the actions of others we cannot lose sight of who we are; are we kind-hearted and happy individuals who want to shine light on others? Or are we sad and unkind like the people who are bringing us down are acting? We choose who we want to be and the path we want to walk, but it is important that who we are and the path we choose is the one we chose for ourselves and not one that is chosen by others for us. When you walk on the beach and see footprints in the sand, are you following the footsteps or are you creating your own? All the footprints you look at in the sand as you walk, that’s everyone creating their own path in life. You can either choose to follow everyone else’s steps or you can create your own path. As Albert Einstein once said, “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” Begin with two small steps. That’t how you learned to walk. That’s how you will learn to walk your own path and follow your dreams.