Shoes are the strangest signal of wealth. In number, quality, and design, the kind of shoes we wear are especially representative of station and personality. A meticulous, rich sort of people will likely have many, brand-name shoes that are well polished. An athletic, nonchalant individual might wear old sneakers and not think twice. An individual who cares about their appearance because they see it as art might wear bright yellow and see it as entirely practical for their purposes. But that’s the key: for their purposes. Do you have ordinary shoes? What kind of shoes do you consider “ordinary” at all? From your favorite pair of shoes you might be able to discern fashion-sense, practicality, self-image, environment, social class, and more! It’s amazing!
But shoes also serve as a subtle reminder of how different all of our lives are. You may think yourself organized, but if you have a pile of shoes in the doorway, that might not be the case. You might think yourself not well off economically, but you also might have more than seven pairs of shoes. You may believe yourself to be a most singular individual, but your shoes don’t stand out, maybe you don’t think too differently from others. Shoes are a kind of symptom of your individuality. There are always factors to consider (after all, you could have seven pairs of shoes and still be impoverished), but little details say a lot about a person.
So what kind of person are you? What kind of shoes do you have? But more importantly, do you have shoes? There are an estimated 300 million people who can’t afford shoes. That’s a massive number!! There are people who have whole shelves of shoes, and yet so many people can’t even afford basic protection for their feet. Going barefoot sounds nice in the summer time, but what about in the snow? Rocky areas? What about exposure to diseases on the ground? What about chronic fatigue and searing heat? The little things can say a lot about us, because they aren’t the things we typically try and control for. So consider a little kindness and think about giving to those in need. It doesn’t have to be shoes, it doesn’t have to be small, it doesn’t have to be incredible! But become the kind of person you want to be, and start it today.