What’s Your Footprint?

It’s pretty common nowadays to be concerned with one’s footprint.  Do you recycle?   Do you buy recycled?  Do you grow your own food?  Do you eat left-overs?  Do you ride your bike to work, or walk?  Bottom line… what do you do to leave a small footprint on our world?

Is it a small footprint that you want to leave, or should you choose to go bigger and bolder?  You may consider your contribution to be a small and insignificant act, but to those who catch it, your gesture can mean the world.

Happy Feet...

We spend a lot of time deciding how to better treat Mother Earth, while at the same time not focusing too much on how to better treat each other.  Please DO NOT misunderstand me; I care greatly about our environment and its future for our children and theirs, but I am also quite concerned with how I see people treating one another.  If the lack of respect for each other continues to spiral downward, Mother Earth’s purpose will be for what?  A place where we can all live and flip each other off just because we can?  The mother-of-all playgrounds for the Biff and Betty Bad-Asses?  There is always a choice.  There really is!

Look around at the people that you are surrounded by everyday.  The people in your family, those that you see in the school carpool line, the hurried people in the grocery store, or the co-worker that needs your help ~ NOW!  It seems that everyone is in a constant hurry, and this hurriedness leads to people feeling pressured, which leads to acts of disrespect. Whether it’s cutting someone off in traffic, flipping someone off,  or verbally abusing in any form ~ it happens, and it happens much too often.

In no uncertain terms am I claiming to be perfect.  Ha!  Actually I’m pretty far from it, to be exact!  Being kind and respectful all of the time just doesn’t seem humanly possible, but the effort in that direction is better than no attempt at all.   I get the temper concept; I’m an Irish red-head, for crying out loud ~ I get it!  The point is this ~ I don’t like disrespect in myself or others, and I really see no benefit from rudeness, whatsoever.  It seems that I’m more surprised when strangers are good-hearted, when years ago it use to be the other way around.  When someone was blatantly rude it was shocking; today it seems more of the norm.  Why has society allowed this tipping point to take place?

When you find yourself as the impatient one, do you feel better about yourself when you are rude? Do you feel more privileged, maybe one step closer to that almighty success, all because you did your very best at berating someone?  If being rude works for you, I’m sorry…you should probably quit reading this post, as it’s most likely a waste of your time; however, humor me… keep reading.

Now, try the opposite when you find yourself in the impatient mode.  Be the one who gives a kind gesture to someone trying to get into your lane of traffic, and by gesture, I don’t mean the middle finger; I’m referring to the gentle wave that says, “Go ahead, I’ll wait”.  Try being friendly in the crowded grocery store and you might be surprised at how people will be friendly back to you.  It’s worth a try!

The other day I had the great pleasure of dealing with a wonderful sales person in a local store.  Jeremy happens to have the most genuine positive attitude, as well as the best take on why kindness is important to him.

He’s laid-back, helpful, knowledgeable, and he just really seems to want his customer to find something that makes them happy; a real no-pressure kind of sales-person that smiles!

Upon completing the sale I thanked him for his patience and kindness, as I can’t be rushed when looking for hip-looking sensible shoes.  (Sensible shoes is a topic for another day!)

Jeremy replied, “No problem; being kind just helps me get by,… happily.”

Laughingly, I said, “Seems there are a lot of folks that aren’t so kind and they seem to get by.”

…and I loved his reply, “That’s it… they JUST get by.”

~~~~~

What’s the footprint that matters most to you?  

What are you striving to leave behind for others?

About Carol H. Rives

Wife, mother of two, friend to many. Enjoys reading and writing about education, family, friendship and life, in general. Loves spending quality time with family and friends; making new memories and cherishing the ones of the past. Some favorite interests include: volunteering, exercising, hiking, writing, knitting, baking/cooking, gardening and collecting thought-provoking quotes. Try to live my life in a "pause and smile" kind of way!!
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6 Responses to What’s Your Footprint?

  1. Mary Sonis says:

    I find respect for others spills over into respect for the environment. The same people who are kind to the people around them..are kind to the Earth.

  2. Bill Davis says:

    Very good thoughts, Carol. People fail to realize that impatience and rudeness (and even more, anger) actually makes them feel WORSE. The fleeting feeling of false superiority is shallow and temporary, even if if were valid (and it’s not.) Whereas the returns from kindness and patience are huge… both socially, and in one’s own heart, and even your own physical health!

    • Well stated, Bill! I should have asked you to co-post with me on this one; I love how you summarized my thoughts so eloquently.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your opinion. It’s always valued.

  3. Azara says:

    So true – I’m pleasantly surprised when a stranger behaves with basic courtesy. How sad.

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