"We each make our own footprint in glass. If you look ahead of you, there will be the footprints of those who came before you. You will notice their footprints crossing over one another, sometimes landing in the same space even though they've come from different directions and once again diverge and follow different paths. If you look behind you, there will be the footprints of those coming behind you. You will notice some that appear to follow you, but if you put yourself in the shoes of the people ahead of you, then you realize that to them it may look as if you are merely following in their footsteps. You will also notice those behind you moving at different speeds and in many different directions. We are each making our own footprints, but you'll notice it is inevitable that all the ground as far as you can see before you and behind will become covered with footprints. Before you assume someone else is following your path to closely, better look at your own from a different perspective. . . just because your feet have landed momentarily in the same spot does not make either of you owner of that spot.
No one owns a piece of the path, no matter how heavily or lightly trodden it might be. Just enjoy the walk!Oh, and a few other thoughts that could come from this loose analogy:
--If you have made some superduperspecial bulldozer to clear part of the path, don't forget that someone ahead of you probably used a different version of it somewhere along the line. Feel proud of your work, but it might be arrogant to assume no one else in history has ever used the same type of idea. Also, remember that just because you moved part of the path still does not give you ownership of the path itself.
--If you pay someone to guide you along a new or difficult part of the path for you, show them respect and thank them for their help. If you take money from someone for guiding them along a part of the path you know well, show them respect and thank them for trusting you. Both of you should remember that neither of you owns the path.
--Remember that babies learn to walk partly by observing others and partly by trying to walk themselves.
--If you always ride piggyback, certain things will happen: you may never learn to walk by yourself again; or you may get a needed break and then walk stronger; or you may only succeed in hurting the back of the one who carries you while simultaneously deepening their footprint. Still, no matter what happens with the footprints, neither of you will be able to claim that part of the path as your own.--If someone alongside you could use a hand as they traverse the path, please be kind. You never know when you will need their hand in return.
--This path really is a wonderful one. You share it with many wonderful people. Share it, enjoy it, glory in it."
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