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What is common may not be unimportant. What is simple is not necessarily trivial.

How many people’s lives will you touch today? Think of every phone conversation, everyone with whom you exchange eye contact, all those emails, and everyone who reads your words – even though you may have written them months or years ago.

While you think of that large number, consider that every single one of them has a life as complex, awesome, and challenging as yours. Every. Single. One. Your co-workers and the people you manage, they do far more with their lives than come into work and do their jobs day after day. Your customers have genuine, legitimate needs beyond your momentary interaction on the phone or the blink-of-an-eye click on a website you helped create.

In all of these interactions we need to express the full essence of our humanity and honor the humanity of all those we meet, though our meetings be all too brief. This is not something to strive for in each moment, but a subtle redirection of our efforts and energies.

We cannot shape the waves, but we can learn to surf.

Treat people – all people – with compassion and respect. At any point in their lives they may become your customer, co-worker, or manager. And you theirs.

This message has been shared countless times before, and you will read it again in a different light many more times to come. If you think someone close to you needs to read this, do not forward it. Pick up the phone, or meet them where they are, and tell them in your own words how much you care.


There is no dish so subtle, and yet so complex, so ancient and yet so misunderstood, as Miso Soup. Anyone can make it but its preparation – and appreciation – both take a lifetime to master.

What distinguishes a great bowl of Miso Soup is what simmers just below the surface. What type of Miso did the Chef use? What kind of water did she use, and to what temperature was it heated? Behind such simple questions lay the ability to revive a weary traveler who has just spent hours trudging through the snow. A traveler who in that moment is more grateful for a simple bowl of soup than all the riches in the world. What is simple is not necessarily trivial.

Savor this recipe for Miso Soup with gratitude.