Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Leaving a mark

Very few of the footprints that have ever been made on the earth are permanent. I travelled to a dinosaur museum once. There they displayed about 10 sets of different footprints that they had found, footprints that had been fossilised. They told us that thousands of dinosaurs had walked in that region long ago, and since then millions of creatures had walked the same path but only these few fossilised footprints have survived.  The other footprints from those countless of other creatures have disappeared.

Footprints.  Most of the time, they are very temporary.  I love walking on the beach and leaving my footprints in the sand. They never quite last though. The tide inevitably comes in and washes the footprints away. But for a while, people had a visible reminder that I was there. The same was true with snow. If the snow was just the right hardness, you could walk on the snow and leave your footprints. But again such footprints were temporary. The snow would melt, the wind would blow, more snow would fall and your footprints were gone. No one knew you were there.

Some people leave big footprints with their lives. I think the world was forever changed by the likes of people such as Florence Nightingale, Martin Luther King Junior, Leonardo da Vinci, to name a few. Because of their work, the world was forever changed. 

Other people's footprints, like my footprints in the sand and snow are temporary. Walking through a grave yard though, I quickly come to realise that almost all of the names listed on the headstones, are names that I don't recognise. Obviously these people were loved by others. These people had touched a few lives during their time. That is why people gave them a headstone to be remembered by. But for most people who walk by, the significance of these people's lives will be lost on us. I know nothing of Alice Smith other than what it says on the tombstone. Alice Smith and her contributions have been all but lost.

I am saddened by this. For I realise that all people have made a great contribution towards life on this planet. Some like the great dinosaurs who left fossilised foot prints will be remembered. Countless others though will be forgotten after a generation or two. Yet all of them lived, worked, produced, taught, loved, fought, challenged, and changed the world in some way. Everyone's life is significant, whether they be world famous or unknown. Let us take a moment not only to listen to the stories of the important but the unimportant as well. And let us each commit ourselves to living our lives in such a way that the footprints we leave will be for the good of all whether they last or not. Blessings.

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