Mercedes Leal My motivation is always love, joy and humour “You must never allow the behaviour of anyone else to lower your standards and you should avoid judgement of their actions. Also, when we share, we multiply our joy by the number of friends who benefit”. It is a lesson that Mercedes have never forgotten. This interview with her reveals an unforgettable story. Interview by Lena Zechner   Can you remember any lessons from your experience of childhood? Yes – most of them! One stands out, however, because it had two blessings in one. I noticed that some of my childhood friends did not share as many of their treats with me, as I had been taught to share with them. One day, after my mother had thwacked my single, treasured and rare barley sugar into as many, sugary splinters as the number of small children present, I asked her why I shared my sweets and others had not. I was around six years old, and happy to give, but was puzzled by the anomaly. My sweet, saintly mother stooped to my level and placed an arm gently around my shoulders and whispered: “You must never allow the behaviour of anyone else to lower your standards and you should avoid judgement of their actions. Also, when we share, we multiply our joy by the number of friends who benefit”. It was a lesson in life I have never forgotten. Love was at the core of all of my mother’s influences and subtle tuition and became the thread which held together every thought, intention and action. “You must never allow the behaviour of anyone else to lower your standards and you should avoid judgement of [...]

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