DEAR ABBY: I am one of your faithful readers and have personally related to some of the problems that appear in your column. I have been particularly moved by letters in which people share their personal experiences regarding acts of kindness.
As a foster child, I was lucky to have been placed in a secure and loving home. I try each and every day to pass on the love that I have received (from both my biological family and my extended one) to the people I meet. It can be a gesture as simple as helping to carry someone's groceries to the car, or offering a ride to a mother with small children whose car has broken down or a parent pushing a stroller in the rain.
I hope I will be able to teach this trait to my children. I would like them to help others because it is the right thing to do, not because there is a benefit to be reaped.
So please, fellow readers, pay it forward. Help others not only because it feels good, but also teaches our kids that being a good person is its own reward. -- ANDI IN ATLANTA
DEAR ANDI: Thank you for an "upper" of a letter. I am certain that you will pass along to your children the lesson of selfless giving because children learn by example. And lucky they are to have a parent like you.
DEAR ABBY: When is it OK to correct the mispronunciation of a word? I need to, but I'm not sure how to go about it.
My husband, "Rob," is an intelligent and educated man, but he has no idea how to pronounce some words that he uses on a daily basis. Most of these words pertain to Rob's hobby, which is salt-water aquariums, and I'm afraid his credibility is taking a beating because of it. He talks about his tank a lot. Rob knows what he's talking about, but he doesn't know how to say it. Should I say something to him? -- TREADING WATER IN HAWAII
DEAR TREADING: It is no more "snobbish" to say to one's mate, "Honey, I love you, but you're mispronouncing that word," than to tell him that his zipper is open. It shows that you care. When you mention it, do it in private, and be sure to have a dictionary close by. After that, what he chooses to do about it is his choice.
DEAR ABBY: I was married in November, and one of my co-workers, "Brooke," attended the ceremony. Her gift to me was a vase. When we opened the box, my husband and I discovered that the vase was engraved with Brooke's and her husband's names and their wedding date. Tucked inside the vase was a card from the couple who had given it to them for their wedding.
How should I handle this? Should I return the vase to her, or ignore it and give it to Goodwill? -- JENNIFER IN PORT ORCHARD, WASH.
DEAR JENNIFER: Neither. Remove the card, re-wrap the gift, and give it to Brooke on her next anniversary.
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