Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Flying The Freak Flag May 28, 2013

I’ve never understood why women wear high heels. Don’t get me wrong, I would consider myself fairly up-to-date with the fashion world thanks to various television shows and my mom’s slight obsession with a place called TJ Maxx. But (in general) I simply don’t understand why women would want to make the simple task of walking more difficult.

Heck, from what I understand about doggie booties, they do miracles in protecting our sensitive paw pads from the elements, but I’m still not sure that justifies their level of discomfort. Strap four inches of height to that? Forget about it.Fly our Flags

I know (based on the ridiculous amount of shoes of various heights and colors my mom owns) four inches is not the norm. So you can imagine my surprise today when I saw the strangest thing on my walk around my pal Diesel’s neighborhood. We saw her at the same time, Diesel and I, and I could tell he was thinking what I was thinking. The woman was walking a collie and a small terrier of some sort down a major road in our community in four-inch wedge heels. I felt a bit like one of those cartoon characters whose eyes bulge out of their heads looking at this woman.

Why not enjoy your walk with your best four-legged pals from ground level? Why be so uncomfortable?

As these questions swirled around in my doggie mind, it hit me. I sure can talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, I had definitely tripped up. Here I am, always talking about accepting (and even accentuating) the things that make us unique, and I am being judgmental of someone’s fashion choice? Shame on me.

Her reasons for wearing those (albeit incredibly uncomfortable looking) shoes are her reasons, and I have no right to question them. The scenery along the journey to self-understanding looks different for everyone, but the destination is the same. We are all at different points in our quests to get to first get to know who we are and then try not to be afraid of it.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment,” suggested great transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. To be yourself is to be a leader – in your life and the lives of others. My mental commentary on the woman and her four-inch heels was not reflective of my appreciation for the spices in my melting pot of life. It flew in the face of my positive outlook on all people, places and things. It wasn’t me.

After all, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand about this world I live in, but that doesn’t give me the right to analyze and critique simply because I don’t understand. That stranger woman’s shoe preference doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of life. In fact, good for her for being comfortable enough in her own skin to make a statement like that. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting we all go out and buy a ridiculous pair of shoes to stand out in our various parts of the world. Quite the contrary, in fact. I’m encouraging us all to look deep within, dust off our own personal freak flags, and fly them with pride.