I adore good chats with people who have much more life experience than myself. It’s exhilarating and captivates not only my heart but my imagination, leaving me curious about the tiniest details. Recently I was privy to some elderly wisdom being shared with a small group of friends. Here’s the gist of what was said.
Several decades ago a young woman was interviewed by a talk show host about her recent acquisition of fame. During the interview, her host asked how she was handling the popularity and changes in her life which had accompanied it. Seemingly nonchalant, she replied that she simply watches her feet. Baffled by such an odd statement, the host pressed further. The young woman simply explained that the world around her could easily spin out of control but as long as she focused on her feet, where and what she was anchored to, she’d be secure no matter what.
I mused over the sweet sentiment, enjoying a good chuckle over the fact that this interview had occurred before I was even born. How simple life must have been before all the media choices of today! With a smile and shake of the head, I filed it away as a good story, happy to have heard it. My own life whisked me away a short time later with an endless list of commitments and responsibilities. Have you ever received wisdom and not realized it at the time? Or maybe taken it completely for granted? I sure have and this was one of those moments!
Several days later I was attending a four-day institute which included a bit of a walk to and from lunch. The campus I was visiting is a beautiful place where my mind easily wandered during my short walks. While pondering several life events the young woman’s words came back to my mind and much deeper meaning hit me. Our feet tell the story of our character! Where we plant them defines who we really are and what drives us. Those ten toes attached to bone, muscle, and tendon illuminate who we are in the hard times, where our passions lie, and what we’re willing to do or be when we’re watched and even when we’re not. The young woman in the story knew who she was, she understood exactly where her feet were planted and she had no intention of moving them, no matter how the pressures of the world pulled at her.
Whoa! I’d missed the moral of the story completely!
Feeling somewhat abashed I took a seat on a bench and pondered the depth of what was really quite simple. We can not only understand ourselves better by watching our feet but also others. It’s a discernment tool in a world lacking transparency, full of filters and falsehoods, watching feet tell us the true story—the story of another’s actions so that we can understand motives and passions, eliminating the need for uncertain judgment. Instead, we can take comfort in knowing for ourselves where we stand, whether we need a course correction, or if someone close to us is really all they say they are.
This week let’s make it a point to watch our feet, to put them in safe places so that we can stand firm and tall as we navigate our ever-changing and busy lives.
Enjoy your journey—