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Exercise #247

Exercise #247: Self Knowledge
Posted 1/18/08

My husband works with machines in a limited, narrow space. When thinking about upgrading something or installing something new, he says he must consider the machine’s “footprint” as well as functionality. He’s talking about how much floor space the machine will take, how much impact it will have on the other machines in the line. The footprint isn’t just the dimensions of the stand, either. Some of them have “arms” that swing out. That swing space is part of the footprint.

I stopped by my church today and on the way out, I quietly closed the big front door behind me. It’s something I adopted when the doors weren’t working properly; they slammed shut with a resounding “boom!” that echoed through the church. I don’t think they boom anymore, but I still guide the door shut behind me, closing it with barely a whisper. In the physical church, I have a very small footprint.

While I was in the church today, the receptionist called me over. “Thank you!” she said. “I so much enjoy every Editor’s Corner, and I look forward to the newsletter because of it.”

She’s the eleventh person (or so) to have told me something along those lines. After every month’s issue reaches parish homes, I receive a couple of emails commenting on how they liked my article. At church on Sunday, people I don’t know stop me and tell me I’ve touched them in some way. One woman - she had an oxygen tank with her every time I saw her - called me three days before she died, just to tell me how much the articles had meant to her. In the psychological church, I have a gigantic footprint.

Look around you, and answer today’s question: What kind of footprint do you make?

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This self-knowledge exercise will give you an opportunity to see how you affect those around you, whether physically (those in your home or at your job), psychologically (friends, neighbors, fellow commuters), or virtually (over the Internet).

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