Treat other people like you'd like to be treated yourself. This is sometimes called the "golden rule." Treat others the way you would want them to treat you. In just about every-thing we do, this is the best guideline to follow. So, here's how you do it. When you don't know how to treat someone, imagine that you are in that person's situation. Ask yourself how you'd like to be treated. Then, whatever the answer is . . . do it. use the golden rule as a measuring stick to check out your daily actions.

Be helpful to other people. Look for ways to be helpful. If you're really good in a particular subject at school, then help somebody else in your class with their home work. (Don't do it for them. That wouldn't be helping; that would be cheating. It won't do either of you any good.) Help your mom with the groceries. Help wash the dishes. Help wash your dog. If you don't have a dog, then wash your fish. (Nope, sorry, he's probably clean enough.)

Remember . . . the help that you give someone is really important to that person, but it is even more important to you. When you do good for others, you're also doing good for yourself. You become a better person every time you help others. That's the key to making the world a better place to live. (Oh yeah, the best way to help others is to do so willingly without pay or reward. You can work for pay, but don't take money for just being helpful.)

Tell the truth. Here's a really big one. Don't lie. Be truthful even when you mess something up really badly. If you tell the truth, people will trust you, and they will learn to de-pend on you. As a personal bonus, people who tell the truth trust themselves to do exactly what they say they will do. This builds self-confidence and self- esteem. Anyone can slip up and make a mistake (and you will), but keep trying.

Be respectful. Being respectful means being courteous and polite. It's how you show someone they are valuable. So, be respectful to your teachers, your parents, your friends. There are lots of different kinds of people in the world. Being respectful and having good manners will make it easier for the whole world to get along.

Be kind to all animals. Take good care of them. Don't hurt or kill harmless creatures without reason. This crazy world is full of people doing lots of bad stuff. There is no reason to add more bad deeds to the mix. Many creatures are so helpless that they can't even defend themselves. Because we are strong, it is always our responsibility to protect the weak and help them when we can. Don't ever hurt or kill unless it's for your own biological survival (food, clothing or shelter). If you are a hunter, then take full responsibility for your actions. Respectfully use everything that the animal's body gives you (the meat, the hide, the bones etc.) If you don't use everything, you're being wasteful and it's disrespectful to the animal whose life you've taken.

Obey rules and laws. There are lots of rules and laws. If you think the rules or laws you have to obey are unfair or wrong, then write letters and lobby your lawmakers to have them changed. Often, to take offense is just as bad as to give offense. It's all in how you handle the situation.

Be thrifty. This is a really old-fashioned word, but it's very important. Thrifty people do not waste. (1) Thrifty people use the earth's natural resources wisely (2) They us time wisely. (They don't waste time watching stupid TV shows like they're R bunch of big fat hairy couch potatoes.) (3) They use their property wisely. (They take care of their toys, their room and things people lend them.) (4) They work to pay their own way and to help others do the same. many thrifty people shop at thrift stores.

Be friendly. It really doesn't take a lot of effort to be friendly. Smile it other people. Try to get to know :hem. Say, "Hello." Getting to know oither people can be fun, and it may you how interesting other people are. People without friends are usually only interested in themselves. Being friendly is essentially accepting in other person as he or she is, not as you think he or she should be. Try to make some new friends at school.

Be brave, but don't ever take foolish chances. Stand up for what you believe is right. When others laugh it or threaten you for not stealing, or not lying, or not using drugs, stand tall and be brave. Don't do it! Now I know some people who believe being brave means that you're never afraid. No way . . . that's not it at all. It means that you will stand up for what is right even when you are afraid. Everyone can become afraid. Be brave and strong, and don't ever take foolish chances!

Be a peace builder. This is a tough one. When you are in an argument or in conflict with somebody, lo everything you can to resolve the conflict without violence. Walk away f you can. Diffuse the situation. The world needs less violence!

Don't take things that aren't yours. If you ever consider taking something from someone else, then think about this. If someone stole something that was yours, let's say they took your . . . watch. How would you feel? I'll bet you'd feel pretty crummy. You might even get mad. Why should you feel mad? Because that person has no right to take some- I thing that is yours. They didn't work for it. They didn't earn it. They just wanted to take a short cut to getting what they wanted. People who take things that aren't theirs are lazy and selfish. They don't want to work and save to get those things. They want them right now. Unfortunately, by stealing they lose all of the personal pride that comes from owning some-thing that you worked hard to get Honesty and hard work carry their own rewards. Don't ever steal.

This is an excerpt from The Magic of Ecology by Steve Trash. A great way for kids to learn about ecology this book shows the reader how to perform 22 really cool magic tricks. Each trick illustrates an ecological principal concept, and teaches kids how to be Young Eco-Heroes with valuable character education lessons The book is $14 95 and can be ordered from Free Spirit Publishing at (800) 735-7323 SUPER HOLIDAY GIFT ITEM FOR YOUR FAVORITE KID!!

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