“Best of…” 2016-a

From M.P.

Subject: Re: Denied

Date: Apr. 2016

[In response to a post from a student who’s instructor denied his proposed persuasive speech topic, M.P. offers reasons to reconsider…]


Instructor quote: “With all of the most socially important issues in America and the world – you chose going barefoot?

Acceptance of going barefoot isn’t so much a problem as a very telling symptom of many things badly wrong with our society:

  • Hypocrisy: using freedom as an excuse to deny that of others – i.e.: “a customer complained…”

There is no such thing as freedom without fairness: the freedom of one ends where it infringes on that of another, and that applies to everyone. A uniform, political office, money or anonymous companies don’t give you the right to bypass the law or make up your own.

  • Conformity: accepting the way things are as they are said to be – i.e.: nsnsns signs

Without questioning things, there can be no progress, democracy or justice. Critical thinking is our competitive advantage as a species. Without it we are just sheep.

  • Ignorance: “it’s a liability issue…”, “it’s the law…”, “it’s unsanitary…”

If you don’t know what you are talking about, shut up. There is enough stupidity floating around without having to repeat it. Inform yourself first.

  • Convenience: it’s so much easier to say no, “why can’t you just do like everyone else…?”

Choosing the easy or lazy way out seldom leads to good results. It’s just mediocre. If you are not going to make a decision, someone else will do it for you, and they will certainly not have your interests in mind.

  • Appearance: hiding behind a suit and tie doesn’t make one respectable. If you live according to what you think others will think, you won’t please anyone, least of all yourself. It leads to a shallow, meaningless life.
  • Intolerance: the “those who are not with us are against us.” mentality – the correct biblical quote is: “he who is not against us, is with us.”

Notice the crucial difference. We won’t learn much if we don’t listen to each other, accept and evaluate our differences. Diversity is key to survival and development. Without it, species and societies stagnate and weaken.

Little things can reveal greater wrongs. There will always be people who hate something or other. They are not the problem. It is those who don’t think for themselves, don’t practice what they preach, and stand idly by where they should act.

By going barefoot, we challenge the system, accepted practice, mainstream propaganda,… and reveal some of its failures. It’s just a very small step in the right direction. But big things get done by combining many small steps. It’s not about bare feet: it’s about freedom, honesty, diversity