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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leaving Our Mark

Scarred tree on Reynolda Village trail.
We like to leave our mark on the world. Places we've been, things we own, people we love. "Kristi wuz here." Animals mark their territory with piss. We leave our mark on bathroom stalls, pizzeria tables, bridge overpasses, id bracelets, the cement in the sidewalk before it sets. (I say spare the tree.)

More permanently, and more positively, we leave our mark through our legacy in the way we teach our children, both our biological children and the children in our community, the next generation.

I believe we should all stand up for a cause (or four). At a sweet boy's first birthday party, his parents wisely put a jar for guests to place "wishes" for the child's life inside, for him to read on his 13th (or was it 18th) birthday. I had to think on it while I stuffed my pie hole with cake. Finally, I wrote on the tiny slip of paper, "You won't begin to live until you learn that your life is not all about you." It was the wisest advice (besides follow Jesus) that I could think of. It's advice I wish someone had given me earlier on.

What a better world it would be if we stopped being so selfish, seeking quality in all parts of our life, rather than expecting -- dare I say, demanding -- cheap, instant, self-gratification and self-promotion. ME. NOW. MORE.

You don't have to go on a hunger strike or carry a picket sign. We stand up and vote every single time we spend a dollar. We buy clothes made in sweatshops on the other side of the world instead of clothes handmade or made by a local company. We buy food full of preservatives and chemicals rather than local and/or organic. If most of the items in our houses are made in China, we cannot complain about an alliance with China because we are already actively supporting and encouraging it with our money (this is an area I am particularly weak in myself).

As we leave our mark, let us not pee on the world. Let's redirect our votes (our dollars and our time) to what matters most. Let's give a little of our time and volunteer (would it kill us?). Let's encourage peace, help the poor, heal the sick, clean up our world, support our community and our own health. When we make life better for others our life is better for it. This is the mark we could be leaving, the example we could be living, that would make us worthy of remembering and honoring by future generations.
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
~Mother Teresa


  1. I just tweeted a link to this post. Girl, my fave line? As we leave our mark, let us not pee on the world.

    I'm gonna tweet that, too and give you full credit. PERFECT as a quote can be.

  2. right on, sister peace warrior. -Jenn