It's amazing how a small, seemlingly simple moment can change your life.
Mr. Reliable was in Maia's office hanging out when one of the young missionary students came in and asked to borrow Maia's cooking stone. She quickly agreed, producing the aged and seasoned stone with a gentle reminder that it was valuable to her and to be careful with it. Mr. Reliable and Maia returned to their conversation as the student left the office. Moments later a crash was heard from the kitchen; Maia froze. Both of them knew what had happened: the cooking stone was gone. At that Maia, rather than curse and berate the girl, looked up at Mr. Reliable and said, "People are always more important than things." And then went to help pick up the pieces of her broken treasure and assure the sweet girl who had broken it that everything was okay.
That moment, years ago, has deeply impacted our family. It may not seem profound, but this statement has taken root in our very souls. It's the core of how we want to live and what we want to pass on to our children. People are valuable, far more valuable than a fancy vacation, a nicer car, or even a precious cooking stone. I guess it's our motto.