I remember reading research that said reading to children at an early age is one of the only definitive predictors of later success in school (and life?). "Reading to children, even before they can understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection".
One of the most important lessons I've learned is to focus on people's strengths. You appreciate them more that way and they often rise to the occasion by becoming more than you dreamed possible. My friend Modisette (Indy Ink) taught me this...by example.