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by Abigail Van Buren

Get Thee to a Consignment Shop With Late Mom's Togs

DEAR ABBY: A friend forwarded me an item she had read on the Internet. I have learned a lot during my 38 years of living, and think these important life lessons might be something you'd like to pass along to your many readers.

1. Respect others, even if they don't respect you. Later in life they may remember that respect.

2. Love with your whole heart. It may be broken, but you can't say that you never loved.

3. Treat animals with kindness, and it will be repaid to you a hundredfold.

4. Be honest with the people you love. Honesty really IS the best policy.

5. Admit your mistakes; it shows you are human.

6. Learn from your mistakes, but don't dwell on them. Negative thinking will only make you depressed -- and that's not good for you or those around you.

7. Tell your family often that you love them. You never know when it will be the last time you get to say it.

8. Never tell others that their dreams are stupid or dumb. Each of us is entitled to our dreams. Who are we to say they won't come true?

9. Realize that the only person you can change is yourself.

10. Be thankful for everything you have. Knowing you are blessed isn't arrogant or cocky if you're truly thankful for your blessings. -- JENNIFER IN COLORADO

DEAR JENNIFER: Thank you for sending this worthwhile item. I am sure my readers will agree that it has merit, take it to heart and refer to it when it's needed. I would only add that those people who respect themselves also tend to respect others; people who like themselves usually have more love to offer to others; and generosity of spirit, as well as material things, is what binds individuals and communities together.

To my Christian readers, I wish each and every one of you a very merry and meaningful Christmas.