This I Believe

Summer - Pacific Palisades, California
Entered on June 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in walking barefoot.

Walking on the beach is amazing. Living in Cape Cod, I can experience the sand seeping through my toes, and the warm, tiny rocks brushing against my feet. Unlike other people, I can feel the sand stick to the face of my foot, and I am able to see the little specks of light brown covering my heel. Since I am barefoot, I can look at nature, and say that I’m not afraid of stepping on a hard shell, or getting my feet all dirty, I won’t dare put on a sneaker or a flip-flop, and miss the sensation that I feel on my worn-out, dirty, leathery feet. I am close to something that wasn’t built by money-hungry people, but by Mother Earth. I won’t take the easy way, instead, I will take the risk of getting cut, I will see new things, and enjoy the sand that is getting trapped between my toes.

Growing up in Cape Cod, I was accustomed to walking around everywhere, sailing in the early morning, and playing games in the yard with all the kids in town. When I moved across the country to L.A., lots of things were different. Most of my day would be spent in the car, and the views I saw were cars in front of malls. Seeing people walking around with Prada Sunglasses and Gucci purses made me realize that some people were too caught up in things that ultimately didn’t matter much.

I think that some people nowadays are trying too hard to get away from the real world, and not spending enough time in nature. That’s why I believe that walking barefoot helps relax. You don’t have to worry about what other people think of your new Nikes or London Soles. You can just be yourself, and focus more on what’s around you. You realize that everything around you is perfect because of all the imperfections. It’s not the 3-inch leather high heels that are stepping on the ground…it’s your own hard, wrinkled, foot that can feel he hot sand or gravel, or the cold ice and snow. It’s you that’s communicating directly with nature, not your disguise.

Walking barefoot also helps you be aware of what is around you. You don’t need to worry about stepping on a hard rock, or tripping over a stick when you’re wearing sturdy sneakers. You don’t bother to look at the ground. You don’t bother to look at the ground. All you see are building, not the shells and the rocks and the sand. Walking barefoot forces you to look down at what you’re stepping on. You see what was first in the world before anything was colonized or built. You see what lots of people will never get the chance to see, and I believe you should enjoy it while it lasts.

If you’re not wearing shoes, it shows you are willing to take risks. You aren’t afraid to take that step forward, and you are able to experience life through someone else’s shoes…or bare feet. Life is unfair a lot of the time, but the god thing is that after you go through the unfair times, it all seems worth it because you get to relax and enjoy yourself. Life is like walking. You can choose to take risks, and they may be worth it or they may not. You can also choose to walk barefoot. Every time you walk barefoot, you are taking the chance of getting cut and bruised, and stepping on pointy objects and shells. But you are also enabling yourself to feel the warm, soft, sand, and feel a massage on your feet from all the little rocks. In life, you can choose to wear shoes, but then you are definitely going to miss out on something. So I believe you should at least try stepping without protection.

Nobody ever tells me to put on shoes in Cape Cod. I feel like I’m so natural when I’m barefoot. I think that bare feet symbolize relaxed and peaceful times and that shoes are sometimes too materialistic. Although people hear about the new, comfy sheepskin Uggs, I think that there is only one comfortable shoe. And, ironically enough…the most comfortable shoe isn’t really a shoe.

I believe in walking barefoot.