“No one can cross the path that is your life without
leaving some footprints behind” ~ Chelle Cordero
It is my belief that every person we encounter in our life changes us, sometimes significantly and sometimes barely. We have conversations where we can learn, we bump shoulders and get attitudes, we share a special smile and their cologne lingers. Later we smell the cologne and automatically smile, we see someone frown and we think of our annoyance, or we suddenly have an answer to someone’s query and can’t remember where we learned it.
There are strange friendships formed with random people. We find ourselves enjoying discussions and look forward to our next chance meeting. What is the reason these people are placed in our paths? Is there a higher power controlling these encounters? Or is it just plain simple chance? Whatever the reason for these acquaintances it helps us to grow and learn, and we should be grateful for these experiences. When we listen as well as talk we open our minds, we learn, and we think. We engage in conversations that interest us and these are the opportunities where we can immerse ourselves in topics that might not normally be part of our everyday existence.
While I do not like the vitriol that often accompanies political arguments before elections, I do enjoy the well-informed sharing of ideas. For the most part I admit that there has been no FaceBook discussion that has changed my mind about who to vote for, but when these cyber friends are willing to share researched and verified facts I like to absorb the information, and it is especially welcomed when they are willing to listen to other verified facts, even those that present another view; for me I have more clarity and confidence in my perspective and decisions.
And while you may ask how we both present true facts and yet still disagree on our chosen candidate, we each have priorities and what may be important to me is not necessarily the most important to someone else. In Junior High School I had a teacher who taught us how to debate by arguing the side we did not believe in; he said that it taught us how to see things from other viewpoints and it certainly did.
Of course the people I believe have had the most influence in my life are my immediate family members: my parents, my sister, my husband and my children. These are the people who have taught me how to love unconditionally and still feel entitled to my own opinions. My parents, now long gone, left me lessons that help me work out problems and challenges even now, many years later. My family has shown me that true love means seeing someone’s faults and Laurels and still knowing how deeply you need and love that person.
My daughter once countered me during a disagreement by saying that we had only ourselves to blame for raising our children to think “for themselves”, something which, to be perfectly honest, I greatly respect them for. I learn from each member by hearing and seeing things through their ears and eyes. So as they have thought for themselves and married people just as headstrong, they have easily shared their opinions and given us lots of “food for thought”.
Value every person that you cross paths with. Every person adds something to your life even if it was just a momentary contact. Treasure the good experiences and rely on those memories when you need encouragement — and, while I hope they are few and far between, use the negative moments to help you make decisions which will avoid the disappointments in the future.