I believe in the power of footprints and the power of people to leave lasting footprints upon the lives of others.
My own coastline of life has been traveled by many who have left their footprints in the sand. Family, teachers, friends, classmates, and others have all walked through my life, sinking their feet into the sand and leaving inspiration among the shells.
I believe that people from other shorelines, from other cultures, even from other times, can leave permanent footprints in the lives of others. One of my life mottos, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” was proclaimed by Mahatma Gandhi, a peaceful revolutionist who died decades before I was born, but who still printed in my sand a way for me to live my life. My ancestors also, although the sun has long since set on their own coasts, have walked along mine. Because of them, I have become connected to a historical building and community half way across the country that was part of their beach so many years ago.
I believe that anonymous sources can create footprints in lives. As part of the QC Times online blogs, I have been inspired and formed my own opinions by the people there who pour out their beliefs and thoughts to others through the online community. Another community, although not anonymous, that has impacted my life is Girl Scouts. Because of the footprints left by the Girl Scouts, young and old, I have grown from a timid and shy little girl to a confident young woman who is not afraid to take a stand and lead.
I believe that people who come into another’s life for a brief time can leave lasting footprints that will never be washed away by the tide. After listening to a female engineer talk about her job for less than twenty minutes at a workshop, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
I believe that those people who bring a hurricane along with their footprints can change our lives, sometimes for the better. In our journey down our coast, we face these people that bring along hurricanes, and leave destructive footprints in their wake. Throughout the course of my coastline, I have been plagued by the storm of mental illness. However, I know that this storm has made me stronger and has changed my life in some way, even if not always for the better.
I believe all of our lives are shorelines walked on by all of those we meet; who leave their footprints etched into the sand and into the core of our being. These footprints are not easily washed away, and whether they change us for the better or not, they are lasting marks that will shape us for the rest of our lives. I believe in the power of footprints.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.