The environment in which we dwell has a great impact on our mind and growth. I truly admire good people whose goodness gets rubbed on to us and strong people who inspire us to go that extra mile against all odds.
While growing up in Delhi, I knew one very pious and nice family of 4. Their house used to homely and there was a certain calm and sereneness in the atmosphere. Theirs was the only home where a cat and dog would drink water from the same bowl without fighting. I believe the goodness got rubbed on to the pets too. They used to have plants from various parts of India growing in their deck. Irrespective of the specific conditions a certain plant needs to grow, they all grew well in their home. Both Uncle and Aunt were well educated. They understood philosophy of life was to be good and spread goodness. Their quest for knowledge was phenomenal. They had a room to collect grocery "lifafas" (bag made of local newspapers) . According to Uncle these contained some very interesting tit bits and he would read them during his past time. The Aunt was very talented and she would promote art in all forms - pottery, local handicrafts, paintings from various parts of India. Those days, local artists would sometimes knock at the doors requesting people for buying their works. These artists were not well to do and needed money to support the family. If anyone knocked at their door and his works were good, the Aunt would buy most of the paintings and call all her friends/acquaintances to look at the art and buy if interested. She would even try to help them establish their own business or recommend them to local arts store.
We are now more tolerant to the various religions and castes India boasts off. As a child I have experienced some very bitter religious clashes in my neighborhood. In those days, this family adopted a kid who was Muslim and had become an orphan. The kid had come to their home for some food and they asked him to stay with them. His name was "Mahiyam". They taught him and sent him to school. He grew up into a fine young man. Their own sons were also very nice to him and I am sure this kid got the greatest gift from god - parents. After all, just giving birth does not qualify one to become good parent.It is giving a good life to a child that makes one a good parent.