Wether it was us bringing tears of joy to the eyes of our parents. Or the annoyance we caused by crying in the bus. The happiness we brought to our grandparents with our laughter. And also the tough reminder we gave them: where they come from, what they did with life and where they are going to.. There is no denying we have a impact in this world..
"Eversince we came in this world, we influence it."
What is The Footprint of Life?
The Footprint of Life is all the choices we make. There is The Indvidual Footprint, this one is dependable on what you as a individual do. But we also have The Collective Footprint; what we as a class, group, organisation or country do. This one is a collection of all sorts of Indvidual Footprints
Islam teaches that in the end we are only responsible for our own footprints, but it is necessary to advise other about the responsibility they have.
This is within your reach of influence. And this helps so they can make more conscious decisions resulting in better choices and thus a better collective footprint. Which causes you to have contributed to something good. Muslims believe this will result in a reward, based on the following narration.
What is The Individual Footprint? (TIF)
The Individual Footprint is made up of two things:
- Who you are; This exists of the things you cannot change. A couple examples are what your talents are, where you are born, traits you have since birth and your relation to your family (son of him and her). I recommend you to accept these and not try to change them, because it will definitely be a cause for a lot of unncessary frustration.
- What you do; This has its basis in who you are. It is what you do with who you are that defines your Individual Footprint. Do you use your natural talents for the sake of good, or evil? Do you accept who your family is and try to learn from them, or do you deny and ignore them? Do you complain about what you cannot change, or do you change what you can?
Let's have a look at Elon Musk. Elon Musk his father was a South African electromechanical engineer. Musk could've denied him and blamed him for not being the richest man in the world, but instead he learned from him. Musk could've used his talent of intelligence and knowledge of all kinds of technology for the purpose of becoming rich, by for example running a big oil industry. But instead he chose to do bigger things, with a better purpose, by trying to combat global warming with companies like SolarCity and Tesla. And he still got rich!
When we look at his example, we can conclude two things:
1. He accepted who he is.
2. He used who he is to the full potential to leave behind a enormous Individual Footprint.
What is The Collective Footprint? (TCF)
As said in the introduction, all Individual Footprints form The Collective Footprint. When we die we can still have a impact on The Collective Footprint. Hitler's footprint is still felt all over the world, just like Jesus/'Isa (Peace be upon him) his footprint and the same will apply for the impact Elon Musk is creating right now.
When we look at the example of Elon Musk we can agree his Individual Footprint is a big one. While he only did what he could, he also had a influence on The Collective Footprint. Wasn't it for Tesla, there might've been fewer people driving electrical cars. But how come he had a influence on TCF? And do we also have such a influence?
It was because he took the full potential out who he is. That made sure he impacted firstly the life of the people close to him, and further on the lifes of people all over the world. He benefitted in the progress of bettering the world.
Yep, you do As said earlier, from the second we enter life, we influence this world. All of our deeds start chainreactions, for example: You smile, someone smiles because of your smile, they feel good and help someone, this person feels good to be helped and offers this person a job as manager at his company.
Firstly it was Allah Who Allowed this to happen, but you played a part in it!
The Individual Footprint in Islam
The Individual Footprint is very important in Islam! Every person will be Asked about everything he or she did in this worldly life, we can conclude this from many Qu'ran verses and ahadeeth1. For example like the following interpretation of (Quran 6: 164):
Say, "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ."
1(Peace be upon him)