Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Walking a mile in someone elses shoes

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

     I chose to push the envelope this weekend and it proved to be enlightening. I put the 'Fear of Man' behind me and tread into previously uncharted waters. Honestly doing this is more of a mental challenge that a physical one. What is it I did? I walked out the door one day wearing 4" stiletto tennis shoes and the next wearing flip flops with my toe nails painted a bright teal. The surprising thing? I wasn't nervous at all.
   One would assume that being out of ones comfort zone would cause some nervousness but alas, for me it wasn't true. We are all raised with a comfort zone. Clothes given to us that people wont laugh at or stare at. Some people don't fit the clothes they are given and get boob jobs or tummy tucks to fit in them. Women forcing their bodies to fit into women's clothes is considered acceptable. However men doing the same to fit into women's clothes is taboo. It's time we moved past that and I see encouraging signs that more progress has been made down that road that I expected.
   I had several wonderful conversation almost everywhere I went with people saying positive things about my shoes. Perhaps society isn't as stuck on gender norms as I anticipated. Oh I'm sure there were multiple passers by that thought I was some gay dude being overly flamboyant. But then again maybe the seed of change was planted in their minds. Gender expression is a choice after all. We are not cursed to dress one way for the rest of our lives just because we were born with an X chromosome or a Y. 
   Take time today to look at life from someone else's perspective. Who knows, maybe you will even enjoy what you see...

      To put it simply, I am NOT choosing to walk a mile in someone elses shoes, I am walking a mile in my shoes.

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