My Footprint

January 16, 2012

***Archive from January 19, 2011

Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. I had the day off from work. In memorializing this extraordinary person, that continuously took harder routes in order to make a point or help rally the world to look at situations differently, I couldn’t help reflecting.

It makes you really feel insignificant when you look at a person that made such a large footprint on the world. Much like many good parents, my mom worked very hard to instill confidence in me and boost my self esteem. However, I grew up thinking I was special. As an adult I experienced the harsh reality of the fact that I really am mediocre at best. Of course I have some strengths and the people that love me probably find it hard to believe that I am just mediocre but it’s true. I haven’t done anything in my thirty years to make an impact on the world.

I haven’t done anything to stretch myself for the good of others. I have gone through life living pretty status quo. It’s a hard transition from being your parents’ entire world and feeling so significant to growing up and realizing you are just an average person leading an average life. And although my footprint is just a tiny dot in the scheme of things, I do have a legacy and that is my children. So maybe that’s why I stress so much over the type of people I want to raise them to be. Maybe that’s why I am concerned that I can never give them enough attention, love and advantages.

It seems a little selfish though, that my main reason for raising productive children is so I can make a better footprint on the world. On the other hand, it’s possible that what motivated MLK to be the inspiration he became came from somewhere selfish too. Does it matter what motivates you to have good actions or just that you had good actions?

My children are, of course, a reflection of me. Do I want them to become the best people because of how it makes me look or because that’s what I want for their lives? Does it even matter if the end result is a good one either way? As I start my average day of work, leading up to chaos at home, I’m going to try to keep focus on being the kind of person who does things for the greater good. That may come from a selfish place inside me that is always working to be the best at everything but either way it’s a good outlook to have. I may not make speeches to change a generation or even make an impact on anyone but my friends and family. Whatever impact that is, I want it to be a positive one. I owe it to people that shaped the world for me; I owe it to Martin Luther King Jr.

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