He shuffled his feet as he walked by them and the boy’s eyes quickly gave him a scan

then he nudged his father and asked him, “What’s wrong with that old man?”


“What do you mean?” His father replied in a voice understanding yet strong.

“You only looked at him for a second…why do you think there’s anything wrong?”


“Look at the way he shuffles along.” the boy said “look how he walks along the street.”

“Is he so old and lazy that he can’t pick up his feet?”


The boy’s dad frowned, he grabbed his son’s shoulders then he got down on his knees…

“Beware of judging others,” he said, “only by what you see.”


“You should never judge someone you do not know…

by the way they walk or the color of their skin…

for you don’t know their story…

You don’t know where their feet have been.”


“At first glance you cannot know the burdens one carries.

You don’t know their joys, their sorrows…their scars…

When you see them passing by you

you have no way of knowing who they are.”


“You have to make a choice,” he said,

“each day as you begin your climb…

You can judge others…

or you can love others…

but you can’t do both at the same time.”


Then the father took his son’s hand,

quickly walking him down the street…

until they caught up and had a conversation


with the old man who shuffled his feet.

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A morning stroll along the beach, just the two of us, walking hand in hand

when I found myself enchanted by all the footprints in the sand.


Oh it was beautiful how the sun met the water and the water met the land

but I couldn’t help but wonder about all those footprints in the sand.


They came in all shapes and sizes…they were everywhere I scanned…

an endless overlap of footprints…blended together in the sand


I had no way of ever knowing…who made these footprints in the sand.

If they were made by someone young or old…by a woman or a man.


What was their religion?  Were they from here or some other land?

These I could not ascertain from their footprints in the sand.


And I wondered if all we had to judge people by were their footprints in the sand

perhaps there’d be no prejudices…no one would be ridiculed or banned.


And the world could live in harmony…like the footprints I saw today


before tomorrow’s tide comes rushing in and washes them away…

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