In recent times a new concern has crept into people's lives. Increasingly people judge their actions in light of how much Carbon their living generates. Reducing the 'Carbon footprint' has become a measure of one's concern for the environment. Where once children were taught to be polite, to vacate a seat to an elderly person, to not litter or be rude... These days it's all about five minute showers, the 'half flush' toilet and solar power. Concrete expressions of civility and kindness have been replaced by virtue whose value is little more then symbolic. The claim of 'It all adds up' fails to account for were exactly does it all add up, on whose account and for whose benefit.
Saving the Amazon and decreasing global temperature by 0.001C in our granchildren's days may be worthy goals but what about our own 'environment'? The people we live next to, the streets we live on, the sidewalks we step on. Aren't they worthy of protection and care? I propose a new definition. Let us call it 'the Human footprint'. The Human footprint is that impact we make withing the hearts and lives of other people. Just as caring to keep the Carbon footprint small so too we must work our hardest to keep our Human footprint as large as possible. We must strive to make a positive and meaningful impact on our fellow human beings at every interaction, no matter how brief and insignificant. We must become conscious and awake to the impact that our words and actions carry on our family, friends, work colleagues, even strangers. We must learn to be sensitive to their feelings, always civil, never dismissive, always ready do back up words with action. Only by treating other with civility and kindness, only by being genuinely concerned with the welfare of those close to us can we hope to enrich the human universe we live in. And isn't that the environment worthy of protection?