I just opened my email to find a note from the neighborhood scribe that one of my neighbors collapsed in his yard yesterday and died.  We have been here for just a few months so that I do not know this man yet shock is reverberating over the Internet and among the homes. It reminded me, again, that each day is a gift of life and must not be taken for granted.  The younger we are, the more likely we are to take risks and not be careful about our choices.  The only problem with that is the consequences of our actions usually catch up with us as we age.  I remember many summer days sitting on the sand at Huntington Beach with baby oil slathered all over my body — for hours!  Yes, I did get a sunburn but now I have to schedule regular checkups to remove the skin cancers that continue to pop up.  Actions and consequences are inevitable and one of our greatest responsibilities as parents is teach this concept to our children.  Having just spent time with three little sisters that each expresses her mind with great gusto, consider this proverb: A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) Rather than having a verbal free for all, lowering our voice and speaking softly allows a much better opportunity to actually resolve the conflict. Teaching the girls to be kind and speak nicely is a daily task. The same goes for adults. Our technological age allows us to bypass some of the common courtesies of conversation, probably to our detriment as a society. So make a note to yourself: gentle words will be a balm for a broken heart, a frightened child, a worried mother, a frantic friend, a stressed husband, or a grieving neighbor. Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)