I just ordered the pair of red shoes that have been popping up on every effen e-mail I’ve written or received since I clicked on them in 1974. All right, already. I bought them, now leave me alone. (You know, I don’t mean that.) A thought occurred to me after ordering these jewels and realizing that 87.6% of all my birthday cards had stilettos on them. Aha. The SHOE has more meaning than a vehicle for my antics. It represents something about me, about life, about the universe. Yup, the humble stiletto speaks today.
“As I stand below you today, I come to model the four most important traits of one’s character. I have sought to embrace these traits over six decades, yup, six, Virginia. They stand for all I stand for. In my journey from floor scratching to butt-kicking, I believe in these pillars of wisdom with all my sole. They are my crutches when my feet don’t touch the ground. They are my mentors which I sometimes ignore (while online searching for the next bargain). They are the labels that can never pale before Ivanka, Michael, Stewart or Manolo. They are what I aspire to be and what I choose to believe and celebrate.
S = Sensitivity
I believe if people were more sensitive to others and to the environment, we would live in a more genteel socity.
H - Humility
I believe that if people would resist selfie-ing and look to others-focusing, we would be less narcissistic and more campassionate.
O - Optimism
I believe that if we look for the good, the smiley faces on car bumpers, shower tiles, cloud formations, the pay-it-forward moments, there would be more cheer in the climate.
E - Empathy
I believe that empathy, not sympathy, is a trait that must be taught early on. When we sympathize, we say, “Oh, you poor thing. Too bad, you can’t handle that.” When we empathize, we say, “I understand. I ‘ve been there. I’ve walked in your shoes.”
Now I didn’t slide out of the womb with this revelation. Nosirree. I had to learn it, and I’m still learning it. All I know is that my shoes have taken me on an incredible journey on this planet and I ain’t done yet. I have stood tall in my 4” stilettos, and I’ve taken them off and gotten on my knees. I have looked down and judged when I should have been looking up and thanking. I have climbed mountains in wedgies, walked miles in Trumps, but I’ve learned that the shoe is just a vehicle to take me to places where I will pause, observe, reflect and absorb. Life is no Shoe-In; it’s a footpath to purpose.