It does not matter what we look like much on the outside; it is what is on the inside that counts most. If we could look into each other's hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.

Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful.

It is easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but we would be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not, it is lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of their soul. Never judge, learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of others.

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls.  It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They did not look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. 

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. 

Then it struck him.  He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown them away! 

Nothing is nicer than having someone who… appreciates us in the smallest things, accepts, us in times of hardships, comforts us when we are troubled, loves us no matter what and is simply happy for having us in one's life.

It is like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It does not look like much from the outside. It is not always beautiful nor sparkling, so we discount it. 

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful, stylish, well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. 

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them. Let's appreciate every single thing we have, especially our friends. Life is too short and friends do not come easily. 

By Tim Pedrosa

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.-Unknown