Tomorrow is TOMS “one day without shoes” event. An event to create an awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child in need. Yes, I’ll be barefoot tomorrow. So will my son Joe, who has school tomorrow. I’m thinking his elementary school is not going to allow him to stay barefoot for long though. Knowing I don’t have time to leave work and bring him shoes, he’ll have a pair in his backpack. At his age, he’s probably doing this more for the attention he’ll get for himself instead of the attention he could create for a world in need. But that’s okay. This is still a good learning process for him and I’m proud of him for doing it.
As for me, I get more comments about my shoes when they match as opposed to when they’re mismatched. I’m guessing I’ll get less inquiries about my bare feet than any other people would walking around with no shoes on their feet. So what is TOMS trying to accomplish with this? They’re doing great work through selling shoes and I’m sure they would like to sell more shoes. That’s not a bad thing though. When they are selling shoes, it’s good, because many children in need are also getting shoes. I support TOMS, maybe more than I should since I have 4 pairs. (One of those came from Freecycle)
I know this event is to create awareness and I also know that to do that effectively, one must communicate their cause in culturally relevant ways. I have to be honest here. I’m struggling a little bit with all of the advertising paraphernalia that accompanies this particular cause. I don’t want to wear the t-shirts, I don’t want to stencil this on the street and I don’t want to use the phone app. I’m not offended at all if people want to use these tools, but I want something a little different. I want to experience what it’s like to be without shoes. Better yet, I want to spend my day thinking about all of the things I take for granted. What is it like to be without? Without shoes? Without clean water? Without enough food? Without shelter? Without my iPad? Without my car? Without my ____________? There are pages of words I could use to fill in this blank. I’m ashamed to say it, but I take all of this for granted. Continue reading