Thorny non-problems

bull headsYou can’t judge another man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.

I walk barefoot most of the time. Not in town, that’d be weird, especially in Mexico. But as soon as I’m on the backroads walking our dog I slip off my flip flops. Doing anything around the house is usually done without shoes too.

There’re lots of benefits to going barefoot, stronger healthier feet and lower legs, a more natural stride, better balance, and that sort of thing. It also just feels better.

What got me thinking about walking around barefoot was walking over some stickers yesterday without being stuck once. I realize that, in eight years of walking around barefoot a lot in tropical Mexico, I haven’t had problems walking over things most people wearing shoes assume would be dangerous or painful.

The stickers look like the head of a small black bull with sharp horns about two inches apart. But they lay flat on the ground and don’t poke you. I was struck by how I didn’t think about walking over them.

I wouldn’t walk on rose stems barefoot or go barefoot on backroads at night. You need to take a few precautions but not many.

Maybe it’s the speed of walking that gives you time for unconsciously anticipating and judging the terrain ahead before you’re there. Also your feet get tougher with use, but they’re soft to the touch, mainly, walking barefoot makes your feet less sensitive to walking over small rocks.

If you wear shoes all of the time, you’ll wind up thinking you need to wear shoes everywhere.