Monday, April 29, 2013

Walking in Tight Shoes By: Karen Pilarski

"Momma always says there's an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they're going. Where they've been. I've worn lots of shoes." Forest Gump said this statement in the beginning of the Academy Award winning movie. Shoes give support, comfort and balance as we tread the roads in our journey of life. The evidence of the journey can be found in the cracks, dirt, holes in the shoes. A slight inspection can bring up many observations. What the person enjoys doing, where they have traveled and where they would like to be in the future.

Toddlers are insightful. They try to mimic their mother or female role model by putting themselves in their high heeled shoes. The little one wants to see how it feels to be at a different height and bigger shoes. Amusingly they try to walk in them only to stumble a few times. My niece used to do this when I came by after work. She was intrigued by my high heels or even my sneakers. What a symbolic gesture I wish people would keep within them. The ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes not matter how difficult it is. 

I have encountered people who just couldn't see where another person was coming from or where they have been. They could only think about themselves and how they felt. Instead they continued with the same thinking, like a shoe too tight to let anything in to breathe. It is suffocating and causes soreness that could have been prevented. 

When shoes become too small or destroyed it is time to get brand new shoes. If only people could make the connection to thinking. If an idea no longer fits or gets destroyed it is time to have new thoughts. Don't be the one stuck in a size six when you are a size nine. Try to avoid being stuck in dirt and manure because thinking has stalled and stuck on the way things used to be. 

Shoes like the mind is very similar. Not all ideas stay the same. They transform and grow as most people do. People change. What life was a decade ago may not be the same way. The LA Gear shoes I wore as a child are no longer comfortable like wearing flip flops in the sand as an adult.  

My shoes are worn from the dance classes I have taken and the walks I have done. There is dirt beneath them from different paths I have taken. In a split second I can place myself in someone else's shoes. I can wear toe pinching ballet slippers or heavy and clunky hiking boots. I can see where a person is coming from. This doesn't make me some medical marvel. This makes me compassionate and respectful of people's histories. I just wish some people close to me could have the same ability. I guess they are still wearing Sesame Street character shoes instead of high heels. Big toes slice through the material and blisters form due to rubbing on the arches. If only they could cut off the old shoes and try on a new size. Maybe life would be less difficult in the long run?