x to the power of 0 equals one. That little mathematical quirk forms the basis for the title of my book and I figure that if you write a book that is basically called “one” you’ve got to love a movement called “one for one“. This past week I became acquainted with Tom’s Shoes and their policy of giving a new pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer buys a pair of shoes. In other words, you aren’t just buying yourself a pair, you are buying one for yourself and one for a child. Thus, the “one for one” movement.
Tom’s has a similar program with eyeglasses, and they also hold a drawing every week to send one customer off with Tom’s employees to deliver that week’s shoes. Both very cool. But what intrigued me most about this company is its rather phenomenal attempt to achieve empathy for those who have no shoes by hosting an annual “One day without shoes” movement. Check out their website for a fun video showing folks from 50 countries trying get through a normal day without shoes. Talk about learning to walk a mile in anothers footsteps…
One of the themes of x0 was to explore the idea of how telepathy would affect our ability to be cruel, or even just indifferent to each others suffering. I’m in awe of this company for trying to achieve that same awareness of the thoughts and feelings of others through a simple act of identifying with them physically for a day. Will a day without shoes bring us closer to world peace? It seems like such a simple idea, but like any act that fosters empathy, it has to help.
And check out my great new shoes in the photo above.