Leaving Your Shoes At The Door

Robert - Lakewood, Ohio
Entered on June 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

When I was younger, my mother used to always tell me to take my shoes off before I came into the house. If the adults could wear shoes in the house, why couldn’t I? I never knew why until now. It was because I would spend whole days playing outside in the mud and dirt without realizing it, so to keep the house clean, I was required to remove my shoes before entering the house.

I remember when my friends and I used to dig holes behind my garage in an attempt to find buried treasure and ancient relics that we could sell on Antique Roadshow. The most we ever found was an old paper cup and a penny which we probably buried ourselves. Once we got tired of digging, we would go inside to snack on Kool-Aid and pretzels, which is still my favorite snack. Most days I would take my shoes off or my mother would remind me to do so. When I forgot to, I tracked mud and dirt all over the clean floors. My mother was never too happy about that and she always made me clean up after myself. Perhaps this was the main reason for me taking my shoes off. This was the beginning of a habit that I will practice every day for the rest of my life.

Now that I am older, I don’t get so dirty anymore, so I am able to walk inside with my shoes on. But I still choose to take my shoes off. Taking my shoes off saves my family some time. It reduces the amount of dust, dirt, clutter, and whatever else we step on from getting on the carpets. This means less cleaning for my family which equals more time together as a family which is important to me.

More importantly, I realize that taking my shoes off does not only keep my house clean and save time in the long run, but it also symbolizes the idea that my home is a sanctuary and troubles and issues that occur outside of it don’t belong in it. Soon, I begin to forget those troubles I left behind. Also, leaving my shoes at the door symbolizes a new start everywhere I go. By starting new, I am able to be myself. So now I leave my shoes at the door to remind me of these things. Therefore, I believe in leaving my shoes at the door. Who knew this simple habit could mean so much?