EDITORIAL: Our footprints

A little more than 140 Christmases ago, an age when personal correspondence was spectacular and the Earth’s temperature was reasonable, Mark Twain’s daughter Susie got a letter from Santa Claus.

After some discussion about the children on Earth and those “in the twinkling stars,” the letter comes to a single instruction: if Santa’s boot leaves a stain on the marble floor, it must not be washed.

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“Leave it there always in memory of my visit,” he writes.

As 2018 slips away in a haze of holiday shopping and high-calorie meals, we find ourselves thinking about that famous footprint – and about our own.

The next time you’re not scrambling to get there or hustling to get back, we invite you to take a lingering look at the faces around you. Some look desperate this season, wearing the marks of sleep deprivation and the mask of a shopper wondering how deep a deficit hole they can dig and escape from.

We’d guess those faces are all animated by the same impulse: love for children.

As much as we’d like to wind up the year offering our best wishes and nothing more, we simply can’t ignore the global climate and local housing crises, and the little parts we play in them every day.

When considering the merits of oil pipelines or the worth of low-cost housing in 2019, we hope you make your decision for the same reason you brave shopping malls in December, because you want to give your children something wonderful.

With our every action, and inaction, we’re etching a footprint. Let’s be proud of the mark we leave. Because much like Santa’s famous footprint, it will never be washed away.

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