Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Didn't Wear Shoes Today

I didn't wear shoes today.

Beth and I were giving a presentation at my 9:30 class.  I had a feeling my professor wouldn't care so we gave our presentation barefoot.  My professor inquired.  We told her what we were doing.  She immediately took her shoes off.  She pretty much rocks.

The forecast was calling for rain.  And the forecast was right.  It poured.  And I walked around outside barefoot.  My feet got wet.  My cream colored dress pants that I wore for my presentation got wet and the bottoms were dragged through the pollen-y puddles and mud that I couldn't get around.  Though this is a daily occurrence in developing countries.

People gave me strange looks when I walked around campus.  I suppose it was good that I was allowed on campus.  The children in Teupasenti, Honduras (and I'm sure most other places around the world) are not allowed to go to school if they do not have shoes with their uniforms.

I hesitated to drink as much water as I normally do because I wasn't sure I wanted to walk into a public restroom barefoot.  But eventually I had to.  And it was weird.  But I did it.  Children around the world walk into bathrooms barefoot everyday.

I felt short.  Usually I am in 2 1/2" - 3" heels.  I didn't feel like I could "stand tall" the way I normally do.  I didn't have the same confidence.  I never would have thought something as simple as a heel would give me confidence.  But it does - and I didn't have that today.  Women around the world never have that confidence.

All day, I kept thinking about the shoes that were unworn in my closet back home.  They seemed like such a waste.  How did I let myself get consumed by something so frivolous?  But I tried not to harp on the negative thoughts that were going through my head.  I tried to focus on the fact that we were trying to raise awareness, walking in solidarity with millions around the world and remembering once again just how much work still needs to be done in our broken world.

So ... 

Where do we go from here?


  1. What a statement to make to go without shoes! I like when you said that your teacher pretty much rocks. I think you for sure rock too!

  2. Dr. Scheib did rock it! Today was a wonderful day for action and reflection...

  3. That's awesome!! I would so do that at work, but I tend to think it wouldn't fly in a public school....

  4. That's so cool you did that! I'm sure it made an impact on a lot of people :)

  5. The kids in those countries do not go into public bathrooms barefoot, they often only have outhouses. Many places have no plumbing and sewers. And studies have shown that what you did in that public bathroom in cushy, sanitized America is no big deal. The floors and toilet seats of most reasonable public bathrooms have the LEAST amount of harmful bacteria. The faucet handles, countertops, and doorknobs are the worst. So what you are touching with your hands each day is worse.
    And besides, those of us who were around during the 1960s and 1970s went barefoot everywhere, often all summer long, many early 70s college students went barefoot to class and all over campuses. No big deal, just gradually get used to it and you can walk on anything. Not at all like living in the poor countries. We don't have all those tropical diseases, and we have medicine they do not have. We have sidewalks and paved roads. They have soil with all sorts of parasites.


Hello and thanks for commenting! Unless I have your email address, I respond to all questions directly in the comment form. Check back if you've asked one! xo, Sarah

Related Posts with Thumbnails