“Find a right path and leave beautiful footprints! A life like this will be remembered as a great life!”
Mehmet Murat Idlan
Is the sand squishy between your toes? Has the water receded enough, and recently, so your feet sink into the soft sand or mud and leave an indelible print? And would this print be visible elsewhere?
I’m not even going to try being philosophical. I am not philosophical. I might have a brain that works; I just don’t think it works philosophically. See? All this talk of being philosophical has confused me and probably you as well.
What does this quote mean to you? Take a moment, absorb it, pace around the outside of it and look at it from all angles. Are they merely words written/spoken by a guy who is more famous than I am? Granted, I’ve never heard of him and I’m far too lazy to look him up now. This was listed in the “28 best quotes about footprints” on Goodreads so …
Like all good quotes; well, like a lot of things really, this is open to interpretation and personal ideologies. What is a right path? Is it virtuous? Is it living by the word of the God you believe in? Is it staying true to your own moral compass no matter how many other people look down on you for it? Is it a life of charity, of poverty, of seeking knowledge at every turn? Many will agree that Bill Gates and his wife, through their charitable causes and donations are on a right path. But that isn’t possible for everyone. Not everyone can walk in his footprints. Nor should they. And nor do they have to.
I think, and since this is my blog I’ll tell you all what I think (insert winky-faced emoji here), people (in general of course and not everyone) spend far too much time comparing their actions with the actions of others. “By the time so-and-so was 24, he had written two books, etc., etc., etc.” That way of thinking does no good to anyone. Some people just have a longer stride pattern than others. If I was to race side-by-side with Usain Bolt and we were both the same speed (humor me), I’d take way more strides than he did as his legs are longer than mine. That’s science. And yes, I blame my parents for not making me tall, dark, and handsome. But I am drop-dead gorgeous so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, should I?
Take your own steps, at your own pace. Your footprints will be beautiful that way. Unless your steps lead you to trying to create a master race and global domination. No one will argue your footprints aren’t visible – they’re just not beautiful.
Which leads me to part of the second sentence in the quote – A great life. What is a great life? Again, we are all going to differ on what constitutes a great life. We are all going to disagree on what is life’s greatest moment. One thing I hope we all agree on is the understanding that each of us is free to determine and decide what their greatest moment is/was/will be. Maybe it was holding your first born for the first time? I have no children, have never imagined myself as a father if I’m honest, but I do understand how this would be an incredible thing to experience. Not something that has ever driven me; but I will never tell someone they are wrong for thinking this is the greatest thing they have experienced in their life.
I have friends back home that think my life is great. I’m living in an amazing city in a foreign country, I’m travelling 3 or 4 times a month to places many of them only dream about visiting. I live in sunshine about 350 days a year. It’s easy to think it’s great with what I show on Facebook or Instagram. I show the happy, the unusual, the wonderful. I don’t show the days when I’m struggling, or depressed, or just lounging on my couch eating too many cookies and watching too much shit television. I don’t think we should air our laundry in public. Well, not that kind of laundry anyway. To an outsider, my life appears to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. I’ve made many sacrifices to live how I do. And I would do so again. It’s just the way it is.
Do I think my life is great? Great is a HUGE word. I like my life. I think parts of it border on greatness. At the end of my last day, if I can look back and say I have made a difference for the betterment of someone, even one small change that has helped, then I will look back and admire my footprints and say they led me to a great life.
Yeah, I’d like that.