We hear a lot these days about the footprint we’re leaving behind, carbon or otherwise. Footprints leave either impressions, indenting the surface of sand or other soft surface, or they leave residue from wherever we’ve walked previously. Either way, we can have similar emotional effects on our relationships and environments.
Sometimes we leave a dent or carve out new space in someone’s life. I may help someone discover unhealthy habits or toxic relationships that need to be eradicated. It’s also possible that I have an impact by words I say or a kind action. When those around us are vulnerable it’s easy to mold them and we would do well to take care in stepping into and around their lives.
In other cases we may find that we leave traces of the dirt and unpleasantness from our lives on others. My baggage from past deals or relationships may have left me bitter or suspicious, and when I apply those filters to current relationships, I risk leaving the muck from the past on innocent and well-intentioned individuals.
What kind of footprint are you leaving on the relationships in your life? Are you treading softly on smooth sand or tracking in dirt onto new carpet? In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”