It's almost officially summer, so you've probably long forgotten about the family photo you stuck in your holiday greeting card. But I haven't. That's because more likely than not it's under my desk blotter.
One of the lessons I tried hard to pass along to my stepsons from the time they were in middle school was that everything you do affects not just yourself, but many others as well. Like throwing a stone into a pond, the ramifications of our actions ripple outward--sometimes impacting others we don't even know, and often obscuring the original impetus.
To clarify, I'm not one of these people who dwells in the past. It's just that I try to be aware that moments in my life that might seem insignificant to me may elicit fresh memories in someone else. But that's not always easy.
So how do we reconcile living in the moment with the droppings we leave behind just by existing in this world?
- First: stay present as much as possible, moving mindfully through your days and recognizing the connections you make along the way. They may be more significant than you first realize.
- Second: also remember that moments pass. As a young newspaper reporter early in my career I recall sometimes getting so caught up in a story I'd be writing for one of the daily publications I worked for ... only to realize days later that my article was all but forgotten as the planet continued to spin. And that was years before the Internet and social media. Today something can go viral--and flame out--overnight.
- Finally: when you give someone a gift or photo, realize that you are giving a piece of yourself. Do it with the utmost intention. You may never know how much importance that item may will hold for the recipient ... how long it will stay front-and-center in his or her life. Quite possibly under the desk blotter she looks at each and every day. :)