Ah, I loved this idea, though I did not take it as literally as it was presented, literal hand and fingerprints out in the world.
I don’t like to give advice unless it is asked for.
People don’t listen to unsolicited advice,
(and rarely take the advice they do request).
I have been surprised, then, to find my influence
on other people’s hearts, like delicate fingerprints,
invisible unless dusted for.
Words I’ve spoken and forgotten often live on
inside someone’s mind.
It is a surprise (and secret treasure) to discover
that some long-ago encouragement
has blossomed into great talent or achievement.
Actions done according to conscience’s dictate
have been seen and remembered, even though
I no longer recall the time or day.
Then they are repeated back to me
by awestruck acquaintance who say
I inspired them to be that strong.
But how could I take credit for another’s
They may have seen something that
changed them, or heard words that
inspired them, yet they, and they alone,
were ready to be changed or inspired.
I was just fortunate enough to be a
catalyst of sorts at the right moment in time.
Still, does that not encourage me, in turn,
to always strive?
To always bear a light for others to find their way by?
Just as others before me
lit a spark and drew me out into
the person I am today,
whose fingerprints linger in my mind
and whose words and deeds once inspired me.