I have driven many rental cars. I must confess I have never felt very connected to them. I fill them with the most economical fuel and am not careful to keep them clean. I wouldn’t have learned a better way but for a ride with my colleague Bryan.

I ran into Bryan on a flight from San Diego to Minneapolis. Bryan offered to drop me off at my home. Bryan’s car had broken down, so he was driving a rental car.

It was clear he took care of this car like his very own. He waited for the engine to warm up before leaving the parking lot, used the brake gently, kept it clutter free, and got the most expensive fuel.

I couldn’t help but praise him.

“It’s simple," he said. "Right now, this is my car. I want to treat it as if it is mine.”

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That was a valuable and important lesson for me.

Treat every person who comes in your contact with purpose and grace. In fact, it might be a good idea to treat everything -- people, animals, plants, and even things — with purpose and grace.

Think of how you can be extra gentle with everything around you today and every day. Such a disposition will attract good people and good things into your life.

Dr. Amit Sood answers questions about stress, resilience, happiness, relationships and related topics in his column. Email dearfriend@postbulletin.com.