I am a part of all that I have met. Alfred Tennyson
Alfred Lord Tennyson was a gifted writer and poet. His words hold as true today as they did well more than a century ago when he penned them. For better or worse, we are, indeed, part of all that we have met.
I am a fan of suspense novels. Detectives maintain that the perpetrator of a crime, whatever that may be, inevitably leave part of themselves behind. It may be as insignificant as a speck of pollen which will then lead the police to track down the bad guy. It may be more significant, such as a hair follicle or blood. The point is, something is left behind.
In the same way, each encounter with another leaves us marginally changed, and, sometimes, profoundly changed. I wonder what I leave with those who have encountered me. Did the store clerk remember that I was impatient on a particular day and transfer that sme impatience to the next customer? On another day, did the driver who wanted to change lanes in front of me note that I slowed down, thus allowing him to do so? Did that inspire him to let another driver do the same?
I wish I could say that I am always considerate and kind, but, sadly, that is not the case. My encounters are frequently marked with impatience, frustration, and, occasionally downright rudeness. Doesn't say much for me, does it?
This I know for sure: just as criminals do, we leave trace evidence behind. We would all do well to make certain that evidence is of our better selves.