Today I went barefoot and tried to be conscious about those in the world who go without much of what I consider normal... the very least of which is the right to own shoes. Thousands of people around the globe went shoeless to join the hundreds of thousands of kids around the world who don't have them.
Here's what I learned while barefoot.
GENTLEMEN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP PEEING ON THE FLOOR.
- my sons do a better job of hitting the toilet and they are "sword fighting" half the time. the floor in front of the urinal in the mens room at my seminary might be the grossest place on the planet. I think I'm peeing in the bushes next time.
- soles of my shoes insulate me from temperature and textures I miss. I said miss on purpose. I think I probably experienced some pieces of my world today that I should be experiencing more often. Grass, black top pavement, carpet, concrete, dirt... they all feel different and most days, when I'm wearing shoes, I miss it.
- I think I could go every day without shoes in San Diego and probably not even be considered a hippy or weird or whatever- kinda like how women can ride their cruiser bike in a bra and underwear near the beach and no one thinks it's weird around here. So, if you went shoeless in the rain or snow or on some kinda long dirt path hike, then I tip my shoes to you. I walked on nice surfaces all day and didn't even suffer really. I was reminded that I don't really even "need" shoes in my community for so much of what I do daily.
- We talked about this at dinner last night and Tyler was the one who said he wanted to do it. So, I wrote Tyler a note today so that his teacher would let him go shoeless anywhere it wasn't a danger to him. They wouldn't let him go to recess without shoes, but he could walk around his classroom that way. He even told me he didn't put on shoes when he got home but played basketball with TJ without them. He's very proud of himself. I asked him what he said to his friends when they asked. I was amazed at the words this young man spit back at me today about his privilege of shoes, how other kids go without, and how he could help identify with them. Tyler and I bonded today across town.