This month, our school is exploring the concept of empathy, with the theme of “Walking A Mile in Someone’s Shoes.” As part of that, and because we are also celebrating the we are “more alike than different” for World Down Syndrome Awareness day, I’ve been challenged by https://vickielawrites.wordpress.com/ to write about walking a mile in my shoes.
It would be...deceptively comfortable. Mostly because when I discovered Dansko/Sanita clogs in 2005, I have rarely worn anything else - if it is, it’s a pair of TOMS (also comfortable) or running shoes. While the Dansko/Sanita brand is expensive (for me), the shoes are super kind to your feet and can be quite stylish. My favorite styles have wooden soles. The first time I wore my Dansko shoes, I felt like I was walking on a pillow - a firm, sturdy pillow that propelled me forward. I would sometimes walk home from work, which was about 5 miles, from the Sears Tower to near Wrigley Field, back in the day. And it was comfortable!
One of my friends had to wear Dansko clogs for a back problem and she was horrified. She thought they looked like orthopedic/medical shoes. I don’t see it. I love them. And the various versions. I feel like they have quirky personality, good quality, and they don’t suffer fools. They don’t need to be slight and dainty, pointy and strappy, or super tall and pain-inducing. They are Danish! Practical, straightforward, and blunt.
If you walked in my shoes today, you would have walked 3.3 miles, according to my Fitbit. You would have carried a load of chromebooks from one end of a school building to another. You would have walked a dog (and will again!), you would have paced around a classroom while students were taking assessments, trying to keep them focused so the test didn’t take four days. You would have walked back and forth many times, to visit teachers and classrooms, for various reasons. You would have walked in mismatched socks (again for World Down Syndrome Day).
If you walk in my shoes, you would see each day is different. There is usually a lot of walking, but for different purposes, and I like that. Walking in my shoes isn’t too bad, to be honest. I’ve got the walking part covered and supported.
It’s the thinking part that causes problems. (and maybe sometimes the talking…)