by Teri NorsworthyI grew up in the desert between Buckeye and Gila Bend, Arizona in a country store. I have wonderful memories of my first sixteen years and how many people in our community influenced my life in positive ways. For instance my English teacher in school, Mrs. Chapman. I hear myself chanting her phrases when correcting my grandchildren’s English. My mother taught me the importance of hard work, discipline, personal grooming, and believing in myself.However, my father was my hero. He taught me many things, but at the top of the list, he taught me to treat people with love and respect...to live the Golden Rule. I remember one particular instance of him teaching one of his this "life lessons" as if it were yesterday. Dad and Mom owned a country store, and I used to stock can goods on the shelves after school to earn my allowance. One afternoon I observed my Dad speaking to the customers as they entered the store...the traveling salesman, actors, tourist, business owners and farmers. At the end of the evening, just as Dad was closing, a transient worker came in.I thought surely Dad wouldn't spend too much time with him. However, I was wrong. Dad greeted him at the door with a big welcome and talked with him about his wife and son and the hard times they had fallen on. He empathized as he asked questions, he listened. When the man finally left, I asked my dad, "why he spent so much time with him, he is just a cotton picker." Dad looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Honey, let's talk.”We sat down and he continued, I'm your father and will share many things with you as all fathers should, but if you remember nothing else I ever tell you, remember this...treat every human being just the way that you would want to be treated. He said, "I know this is not the first time you've heard it, but I want to make sure it's the first time you truly understand it, because if you had understood, you would never have said what you did." We sat there and talked for another hour about the meaning and the power of the Golden Rule. Dad said, "If you live the Golden Rule, everything else in life will usually work itself out but if you don't, your life probably will be very unhappy and without meaning." You never know what he or she is going through or how they feel. Kind words spoken to someone can bring hope and encouragement. Even a smile or compliment can make a huge difference. You never know when you may find yourself in their shoes.”I recently heard someone say, "If you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left them an estate of incalculable value." Truer words were never spoke!