Friday, May 12, 2006

Just for Feet

A few days ago, I worked in the yard for a couple of hours. The grass was damp and my tennis shoes were, uh, a little porous.

I came inside to do some more work. After a while I realized that I wasn’t comfortable, but I couldn’t figure out why. I walked around thinking to myself, something is wrong. What is it?

Finally, it dawned on me. I went upstairs, took off my soggy socks, and put on a pair of clean, dry, white socks. Ahhh, much better.

Pay attention the next time you watch the news and they interview somebody who has been kidnapped, or lost in the woods, or drifting at sea for a long time. What’s the first thing that they usually want — after they get a hamburger from McDonald’s?

They want a pair of clean, dry socks.

It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Acupuncturists tell us that the feet are the path to your internal organs and thus, all happiness.

An old saying goes: “Ain’t nobody happy until Mama’s happy.” A natural extension to that is: “Mama ain’t happy until Mama’s feet are happy.”

It’s true. Offer any woman a foot massage. None of them will refuse it.

Have you ever noticed that some people are “shoes” people and some people are “not-shoes” people? I know some people that declare that the first thing they put on in the morning and the last thing they take off at night are their house slippers. They are never without something on their feet. I know other people that declare that the first thing that comes off their feet when they get home are their shoes. They’re the ones that sneak from their cubicle to the printer and back wearing socks.

Both groups are equally adamant. Their feet control the way they organize their lives.

What is it about feet that make them such effective determinants of our happiness?

I think it’s because they are the foundation on which we literally stand. The health of a house can be measured by its foundation. And the health of a person is often determined by the health of their feet. It’s easy to forget about them — they’re just so darned functional. So I think every once in a while they remind us exactly how important they are.

Sometimes — just to get your attention — the feet have to say, “Hey, these socks are a little damp. Hey, hey! A little attention please! We’re choking down here.”

See? The only tool they have to communicate is by signaling discomfort. It’s a special language that they’ve developed to get attention. And it’s very effective.

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