If you stick something in your eye, tears will flow; and if you hurt a person deeply, you will discover his true feelings. If you throw stones at birds, you will scare them away; and if you insult a friend, you will break up the friendship. Even if you have a violent argument with a friend, and speak sharply, all is not lost. You can still make it up with him. But any friend will leave you if you insult him. If you are arrogant, if you reveal his secrets, or if you turn on him unexpectedly.
Gain the confidence of your neighbour if he is poor; then you can share his happiness if he becomes successful. Stand by him when he is in trouble if you want to share with him when better times come his way.
Fumes and smoke appear before the flames do; insults come before violence. I will never be afraid to protect a friend, and I will never turn a friend away if he needs me. If I suffer because of him, everyone who learns of it will be on guard against him.
(The Bible, Sirach 22:19).
Playwright Moss Hart once confessed:
“All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say “No,” and said “Yes”.
None of us is responsible for all the things that happen to us,
but we are responsible for the way we act when they do happen.