From: AA (writing from Italy)
Subject: Going Barefoot vs living barefoot (its challenges)
I’ve been going barefoot for more than 5 years now, and I’m now reviewing what it means. Here on the SBL we have on one side Americans that even struggle to be allowed in malls, restaurants etc. On the other, we have someone that can live barefoot without problems at all…
I can go barefoot everywhere as a patron. With the exception of the workplace that is very close-minded toward classic attire, nobody is going to prevent my barefootedness. However, I soon realized that being able to go barefoot everywhere is a far cry from living barefoot. The latter means that bare feet would be accepted by your family and your community as if it was a real normal alternative to shoes.
I realized that it’s not my case. My wife is more resigned than accepting, my sister calls me every week to know if I’m “improving”, “are you healed?” She asks, like I’ve been stricken by the worst disease. A far cry from accepting barefooting as a possible choice of life aside from an oddish behavior of the first fool strolling around the town.
As I posted before, I had problems at my son’s school as well, I have very good friends that agree with me, support my thesis that it’s healthy and pleasant, but inside my heart I know that they think that I pushed it too far.
When you start going barefoot, the hardest hurdle is yourself, you are scared and you only think about how to win a confrontation. But when you are self-confident enough, the limits of people around you start to emerge.
If your relatives and your family are not self-confident and falter, you are alone. When they rant that if you lose your job, you’d hardly find another one if they knew that you go barefoot. When they treat you like you have a disease, when they walk some meters behind you, you start to wonder if going barefoot will ever be accepted and you fall from your little enchanted world, your self-confidence is starting to falter either.
When you join to a community of barefooters for the first time, as happened to me, especially in my naive country, you are told that it’s just up to you, yourself is your only limit. Ironically, this comes from singles, retired, artists, etc., special characters that have a far lighter “burden” to carry, because going barefoot may be a better stereotype for them.
I soon realized that it was not only up to me, but up to my wife, my son, my relatives and my friends.
It’s still a very long run…