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"I walked with my friend to the news stand the other night and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The man behind the counter did not say a word to acknowledge him.

‘A sullen fellow, isn't he,' I commented.

‘Oh, he's always that way,' shrugged my friend.

‘Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?'

‘Why not?' inquired my friend. ‘Why should I let him decide how I'm going to act?'

As I thought about this later, it occurred to me that the important word was "ACT." My friend ACTS toward people--most of us REACT toward them."

Sidney J. Harris

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