We never really know what it’s like to experience another person’s life until or unless we try to “walk a mile in their shoes.”
I’ve thought about this being true both literally and figuratively. I don’t envy, for example, the shoes of my friend, the newly retired postal carrier. Man, oh man, her shoes could tell some stories, and not just about very aching, tired feet. They covered thousands of miles, trekked through all sorts of snow and worse. Those shoes walked in and out of people’s lives as those people saw their children grow and their loved ones pass on. Those same shoes also got to “see” countless wagging tails day to day as they met all the dogs along the postal route. I bet those shoes were the happiest when they were approaching those wagging-tailed, shoeless creatures.
Then there are those people, mostly women I can confidently say, whose shoes are high-heeled, and platformed, strappy and sexy, and in some cases sequined and bedazzled. Those shoes would also have plenty to say. When shoes like that are retired they talk about dancing and the little, black dress. They reminisce about birthday parties and graduations and weddings and banquets. About what if felt like to be the shoes of a ballroom dancer, as well as what it felt like to be the shoes of a bride. Mostly, I think these types of shoes even put their feet up at the end of the day, because I can tell you from experience they hurt. OK, an occasional sacrifice is called for when only a high-heeled pair of red heels will do. But in the end, these shoes hurt.
Then there are those without any shoes. The people to the left and to the right of us who might be homeless, who have little to nothing, and whose hopes extend far beyond that of finding the perfect shoe to complete an outfit. I try my hardest to remember these people when I am losing perspective. I suppose reliving all the stories of Hurricane Sandy yesterday reminded me to count my blessings, rather than my pairs of shoes.
All right, off now to put my “dog-park sneakers” on and walk the dog. Trust me , you don’t wanna know the things these sneakers have to say. Yuuucch!!