Barefeet an Answer to Apathy


Going barefoot walking is my way of walking away from the consumer driven economy which preaches its message of need to the masses. Needs that you didn’t even know you had are being forced upon us, that we need newer and bigger (or smaller and lighter depending on the product) because it is always going to be better, make our lives immeasurably better, make us happier; consumerism: the new opiate of the masses.

In my short time on this planet, things have changed, the world that I personally know and observe has changed. The cosmic chemistry experiment that is our planet, is starting to spit out results that are detrimental to the continuation of life on this planet. I don’t want to preach and rant, each of us must come to our own conclusions.

The tipping point for me was hearing the addage that; “if we all just changed something little in our lives it would make a big overall difference”. What a load of bullshit, in my opinion we are way past the point that little things will do anything, drastic change is needed. The problem is, everybody is to caught up in their own little worlds of introverted concern. People are concerned about something if it directly effects them, otherwise pfffft, its just something happening on the news. It is this general apathy that I am walking away from.

Like all addictions, sufferers must weane themselves off their vice, going cold turkey is often not possible. I am still a consumer, however I am learning how to do things differently. We are told that we need so many things, when really we don’t. My barefoot walking and change in lifestyle is my way of doing something about it.

I don’t even need shoes.


Reflections on Feet


I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly fresh. Some 20 somethings, behaving exactly as I had at that age, had the audacity to disturb my sleep, outrageous! I had intended to wake up and watch the sun rise, however waking up and seeing the rays of light streaking through the glass obviously negated this well intended plan.

I had a look at my feet, gave them a rub and scrunched my toes, they felt fine and the soles of my feet had cooled down and were no longer radiating heat. I had given them a pretty good flogging the previous day and they were fine. I jumped out of bed with a flurry, my feet landed on the ground and so did the rest of me as my legs crumpled beneath me. My calves were on fire, as I sat dumbfounded on the floor the dog just looked at me in disbelief, then reached out to take advantage of the situation and give my ear a good cleaning.

I have noticed that when walking barefoot I tend to walk on my toes alot more, this activates different muscles in your calves and even around your hips. Yesterdays efforts were no problem for my bare feet, the underutilised calf muscles were obviously a bit more unhappy.

Part of the reason why I am a barefoot afficiando is that I have flat feet. When I was small podiatrists had poked and prodded my feet, “arch support” was the catch cry when buying shoes. I realised when I got older, principly when I had moved out of home and didn’t have my Mum telling me to put on shoes before I went outside, that going barefoot and walking on your toes was the best method to strengthen ones arches. Arch supports are just crutches, they dont do anything to modify the foot and its supporting structures.

This was but one path to enlightenment on the barefoot road. Another moment occurred whilst I was shopping at Castle Towers in Sydneys north west. I was happily gallivanting through said shopping centre when I was approached by security, “excuse me sir you don’t have any shoes on”. I stopped and considered this statement that was predicated by a question.

“No, no I don’t”
“Well you need to have shoes on when your in the centre”
Straight off the bat, I retort “it’s against my religuous beliefs to wear shoes”, boom, case closed. I thought this would be enough to dissuade my interrogator, afterall it’s not worth getting involved in the “cans” and “cants” of what religous nutters can and cant do.
This wiley old security guard had obviously dealtvwith his share of wise guys “Oh yeah, what religion is that?”
“Ummmmmm Aghhhhhhhh”
“Listen mate, if you go and buy a pair of shoes you can stay, otherwise im going to have to ask you to leave.”
This infuriated me, who was this guy with his beurecatic rules, telling me basically that my barefeet were unsafe, but there were store provided products available at a price so that I could continue with my shopping experience. This is society saying I need to consume products ie shoes, but in reality if im happy in barefeet why should anyone else care.

My journey is hopefully going to be more than just rantings about barefeet. The barefeet are just the method of locomotion the real story will be found in my next post, A Tale of Six Legs.