Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Day WIthout Shoes

When was the last time you went outside without shoes?  I don't mean down to the driveway to check the mailbox or slapping around the pool deck kind of barefoot.  But trudged a mile down the road, went to work, sent your kids to school without shoes type of barefootedness.  Probably not ever, right?  Never even thought about it.

I didn't either 'til a few years ago when I came across Toms' Shoes annual "One Day Without Shoes" campaign to spread awareness of the millions of children, of people, around the world who live without shoes and are prone to various types of yucky disease, infection, and injury.  This campaign is different than many we're used to because they aren't asking anyone to donate any money - I checked all over the site and then came across the answer that because it is a for-profit business, they aren't/can't accept donations.  (They have non-profit partners that you can donate to, however, or you can buy a pair of their shoes, and in turn, they will donate a pair of shoes to an organization that will distribute them to persons who need them.)

As a kid, I used to run around barefoot.  Even now, I love the feeling of cool grass, hot sand, and warm concrete on my barefeet.  And yes, I am at risk of stepping on a rock or (eww!) a bug, stubbing my toe, or walking on a too hot sidewalk.  But if want to, I can go put on a pair of shoes.  There's millions who don't have that option and the risks are much greater.

I actually don't have too many places to go today, so most of the day, my barefeet will be padding around the house.  But its got me thinking a few random thoughts, such as these.

In one part of my brain, I read about countries where children can't go to school without shoes.    In another set of brain cells, I considered having my children go barefoot today so they could realize how blessed they are not to live in one of those countries, but they can't because they have school today.  (You see where I'm going with this?  Then you're quicker than I am.)  Those brain cells all collided and it hit me - WE live in one of those countries.  If my children didn't have shoes, they wouldn't be allowed in school.  Sure, its one thing to kick your shoes off under your desk in math class, but walk through the front door and tromp through the cafeteria?  No, way.

I planned on going out for a run today.  I should go barefoot, right, stick with the theme?  Yeah, but what if I step on one of those aforementioned rocks or bugs?  And its definitely not safe on a slippery treadmill, so there goes another option.  I could run around my dining room about a million times to make a mile, the greatest consequence would be falling out dizzy.  I'm not running to somewhere, just for exercise, so I could forget the whole running thing, do some jumping jacks and call it a day.

Where are you when you're reading this?  Would you be allowed to be barefoot, would you be safe, would you be comfortable?

Having a choice is a blessing that we take for granted.

If you want to know more, kick off your shoes and check out Toms' site - www.onedaywithoutshoes.com

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