We all leave footprints. Heavier prints in mud or wet areas. Lighter, fainter ones in sand or drier surfaces. Some take time to disappear. Other footprints, such as those created in sand, take merely a wave and they’re gone for eternity.
While etched on whatever surface they land on, they make an impression. Question is: will it be a good, bad, or neutral impression?
Will people remember me and you as being a positive encourager? Or, a Debbie-Downer, talk about herself and her life, all the time?
Do you see signs of pride or humility? Helpfulness or selfishness? I LOVE being around and talking to folks who don’t have to be center stage. Someone who shows they care by listening and not filling in all the blanks for me. (I’ll admit that I struggle with this concept. My brain tends to go forward and search for the next thing I plan to say.)
I attended an event where the speaker had the privilege of working with Mr. Rogers, host and producer of the popular kid’s television show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Earlier in life Fred Rogers studied for a pastoral ministry, but decided on a different career path. The lack of wholesome, educational television for our youth caused him to do something about what bothered him. He chose to devote his life’s work to creating wholesome, educational television programs for kids. What an impressive legacy he left behind!
I learned from this event that everyone who came in contact with Mr. Rogers felt special. Young or old, able bodied, mentally or physically challenged, they were #1 in his book. He zeroed in on that one person—whomever was in front of him at that moment in time. Rogers possessed a gift. You felt you were the only one on Planet Earth. You mattered. Your thoughts, fears, dreams counted. Top Priority! Was he perfect? Of course not, and he’d be the first to admit his imperfections.
At the symposium, the speaker highlighted a trailer scene where Mr. Rogers struggles to pitch a tent. He tried and tried to set the tent up properly. It turned out all wrong. The audience laughs and Rogers tries again to set it up, but it still doesn’t work. Rogers laughs along with the audience, admits defeat, and asks for help. He then patiently moves on to something else.
We miss you, Mr. Rogers! Your positive influence, drive, concern for humankind will not be forgotten.
He left a footprint wherever he walked, whenever he spoke. I came away from the event inspired and motivated to do better, be a better person, and be attentive to my neighbor. My neighbor is whomever God places on my path. Encourage, pray for, brighten the way for those in my sphere of influence.
- What kind of footprint or mark do you want to leave for the ones you love?
- Name some ways you plan to leave those kinds of footprints.