It was in the middle of the road.
I didn’t get a long look at it as I was driving past. But it was odd, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Who did it belong to? It was quite large but even children have large feet so I didn’t get much of a clue from its size. Still, it bothered me.
Where was its partner? I almost began to feel sorry for it. Soon it would be squashed and that would be that… end of shoe.
Isn’t it amazing how many shoes most of us have in our wardrobes? Especially women? I know buying shoes can become addictive.
I think we love our shoes because they have magic powers. Yes! They do!
When I put on the high-heeled, silver ones, I’m transformed. I’m taller, more elegant and beautiful simply by putting on these particular shoes. And when I look at the ones I wore to a friend’s expensive wedding, my face is transformed too. I’m remembering the day, the glorious sunshine, the special clothes, the flowers… I’m time-travelling magically back to that day…
Then there’s that old pair. The ones I wear to work in the garden. As soon as they’re on my feet it doesn’t matter how dirty they get, I’m creating magic in my garden. Moving plants that have outgrown their place, planting bulbs for the spring and clearing away the weeds.
Just by putting on a pair of shoes I can become someone else, for as long as I’m wearing them.
If I could have a pair of magic shoes, to instantly transform me, who would I like to be, if only for a day?
Here are some people whose shoes I’d like to stand in –
- an airline pilot
I’d love to see the views that he sees, the skies, the dawns, the sunsets… to soar above my problems, get stuff in perspective, see the world as a curving, colourful ball, remove myself from everyone, just for a while.
But I wouldn’t like the lightning, the storms, the ‘near misses’ we never get to hear about.
- a person who uses a wheel chair
I’d like to watch the faces of the passers-by, the ones who pretend they haven’t seen me and the ones who care; I’d like to hear what they say to one another when they think I’m not listening, how they patronise, empathise or even snigger. I’d like to know how it feels to be helpless, dependent on the help of others, but…. just for a day…
- a child who stands on the edge of the playground, too scared to join in.
I’d like to understand how that feels, to be a lonely child, unhappy and solitary. How would it feel to be left out, not included, day after day? I take for granted my natural ability to interact, it would be an excellent lesson for me. I’d like to try to feel what he’s feeling and do something about it…
Unless we stand in someone’s shoes we cannot know how they feel.
We try; we say, ‘I know how you feel.’ But we don’t, unless we’ve walked in their shoes along their path, wherever it may lead.
Who would you like to understand better?
Whose shoes would you like to wear, just for a day?
Header omage by cursedthing, post image by Lil Larkie, on Flickr.