Thursday, 8 April 2010

One Day Without Shoes

So I have a lot of shoes. (See photo below for evidence of such!) I think it would be fair to say that I don’t overly value my shoes. I live in a society where I can buy shoes cheaply and quickly. Thus because they are so readily available, so many and so cheap I don’t subscribe a monetary or emotional value to them.

(For the purposes of full disclosure, I did tidy these up before taking a photo!)

I also think it would be fair to say that many of us in the western, capitalist world would be guilty of the same attitude. I have never had to walk somewhere with out shoes. It may sound basic but everyday I put a pair on. I match them to my outfit. I wear different ones depending on my mood and location. And I don’t think about it. Shoes are so much a part of my every day existence that they fade in to the back ground of my conscience.

(This pair for example, cost be only £4. Almost nothing when you think about it.)

Yet there are some people who do not have this luxury. Some who do not own even one pair of shoes. Some who may never have owned shoes. Imagine making the walk to work in bare feet. The walk to go to school. To get water. To get food. Imagine how much more dangerous and difficult these journeys would be in our own communities which have tarmac roads and paved streets. Then imagine how this danger is multiplied when there are no roads and no streets. This is the reality for many who woke up to this beautiful Thursday morning. This is their reality everyday. Every day is that little bit more dangerous because they do not have the simple necessity of shoes.

Toms Shoes is a shoe company (obviously!), whose slogan is ‘one for one’. For every pair of shoes that they sell they donate another pair to a child who does not have any. They give this child a safe walk to get food and water. These shoes may enable them to go to school (as many schools will not accept pupils without shoes). These shoes are a gift which goes so much further than just a pair of shoes.

Today is ‘One Day Without Shoes’, it is a project by Toms Shoes designed to highlight the problems of living without shoes by asking people to go without them for a day. If in your community it is impractical to go without shoes they ask that you become ‘virtually barefoot’ by promoting the cause on your blog, twitter, facebook etc...

Because of the slightly suspect area in which I live, its not practical for me to walk barefoot in to town today- so I am going virtually barefoot. I’m writing this post, promoting it on my facebook and going barefoot in the sense that i’m wearing my most flimsy shoes and no socks.

So in the spirit of this day I ask you to take just one moment to consider how much more difficult your life would be without shoes, and how much value we should ascribe to these most humble of clothing items.

If you want to learn more about Toms Shoes, the link is below.

Happy Thursday xxx

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