A Leg to Stand On
So, I have to admit... I make “shoe contact” before eye contact. I meet you and immediately my eyes are drawn to your shoes. Call me superficial, call me whatever, but your shoes are the “nuts and bolts” of your outfit. Your shoes can say so much without ever uttering a word. They tie your look together and create an invisible line of cohesion from top to bottom. They are unequivocally the foundation of your look.
“Strangely enough, I really think that shoes are a communication tool between people.”
Just like I examine people’s shoes, I examine people's personalities in a similar fashion... which is to say I investigate their foundation. When I first meet a person, I get to know their core values which are the foundation that informs their belief system.
There are so many components of etiquette, social mores, and basic common decency that were NOT instilled in everyone. This is because not everyone has a proper foundation. You can't change how you were raised, but beyond a certain age, you are responsible for your behavior. You can't use your parents as a scapegoat forever. At 53, you can’t blame your parents for you going off on a grocery store clerk, Cheryl (I can’t imagine a baby named Cheryl. I know everyone was a baby once, but Cheryl is the most generic middle-aged woman name).
But this lends itself to a deeper issue. If you don't have a proper foundation, you don't have a leg to stand on. So if you have had the misfortune of being raised without a good foundation, fear not. It’s never too late to create your own destiny. First and foremost, figure out what’s important to you. Develop a value system and demonstrate unwavering support for consistency within your integrity. As my favorite old adage goes, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Instead of having so many people work backward as adults, let’s just give people a proper foundation from the start. So, I want to talk to the moms and dads out there. This isn’t parenting advice, so much as it is self-esteem and integrity advice. I know I’m not a parent yet, so I’m not here to step on any toes. I do, however, know a thing or two about the ramifications of good or bad foundations in girls’ lives.
Please, please, pleaseeee respect yourselves. Don’t be with a man who cheats on you. Don’t be with a man who abuses you, does not think of you as an equal, or thinks you’re not capable of certain things. Don’t be with any man that doesn’t know your worth. As a matter of fact, don’t be with any man who doesn’t understand that ALL people have value. You may think it has no effect on your children, but I can tell you, I have seen the havoc it wreaks on your daughters’ self-esteem. The same-sex parent is the most influential individual in a person’s life. This means the mother is paramount in the development of her daughter just as a father is the cornerstone of his son's development. Be the strong woman that any child would be lucky to admire.
This is 2017, the era of “anything goes,” but please don’t be that guy. Respect women and understand that “mansplaining” is never the answer. Don’t talk down to your wife, your daughter, the barista, whoever… Just be cool, man! JUST BE COOL. Another major “no-no” in my book, is raising your daughter with parameters that restrict her full potential. Your daughter picks up on these behaviors and goes after (yes, you heard me because this usually makes for a desperate woman) guys that are beyond subpar.
So many fathers have really high hopes for their sons and set such a low bar for their daughters. I have literally had a man tell me, “Why should you work? You have a boyfriend and he has a job.” Other than that being the most asinine and idiotic statement, it’s profoundly sexist. My dad instilled in me that the sky is the limit and I should never think I am unable to do things because I’m a girl. Be like that. Raise a daughter who, like me, did not even know it was a “thing” to think girls could not do certain things. Raise a BOSS.
Just as good shoes take you places in life, so will a strong foundation.