I had a sales representative from TOMS shoes come to the store the other day. You know TOMS, right? It’s that amazing philanthropic company that donates a pair of shoes for every pair that is purchased. This company has actually donated over 45 million pairs of shoes across 70 different countries!
The way TOMS does these shoe giveaways is by going to an area that has been scoped out and that has been determined that they need shoes. Then TOMS goes in to do a shoe drop. The shoe drop is when they go and hand out shoes to kids who need them. It’s supposed to be anincredible experience all around.
Well, since most of us can’t experience what that is like first hand, they have done something to help us imagine it. TOMS will do a 3-D virtual tour for you of a shoe drop. Have you ever done one of those 3-D virtual movies? I had never in my life experienced one! Caleb, the sales rep had me put on a pair of giant goggles and headphones. What you experience in these 3-D videos is amazing! You get the ability to see 360 degrees from where you are positioned! If you look down, you are able to see down- if you want to turn around in a full circle to see what is around you, you can!
The tour that Caleb gave me was of a shoe drop at a school in a remote town in Peru. I’ve had the fortune of visiting Peru. When you seal yourself up in goggles and headphones you suddenly get rushed to another world… here specifically it was in a rural village in Peru. TOMSassociates were handing out shoes to the children at the school while I witnessed this right among them. I could remember actually being there, what it felt like, what the sound of the Andean silence sounded like. As I looked around I could virtually (!) feel the wind. And strangely, I could feel the excitement and joy of the kids.
However, it was a little disconcerting because, I didn’t exist for them, nor did they really exist for me, but we were all real! It was a surreal feeling- to be alone yet amongst them, feelingconnected. During my life I have experienced this sensation, but without the goggles, without the headphones. I have experienced situations/relationships where I can almost reach and touch people, but I don’t exist for them. And I’m sure I’ve experienced the opposite, where others have reached out, but they don’t exist for me. It’s a frustrating feeling.
Maybe it goes back to what I keep mentioning all along: It’s all about being present and real- being considerate to the person who is in front of you. I remind myself, like we do it in yoga, “Namaste,” The divine being in me acknowledges and respects the divine being in you. It’s about creating an authentic connection. In my life I’m in a constant search not just only for the perfect shoes for you, but also for the balance that will bring peace to my heart. I don’t want to go around in life with the feeling I got from the 3-D movie, that I’m only an observer. I want to be present, but I want the people around me to be present too. We are not in the next dimension yet! It has taken me a life time to stop thinking about the past. When I think about it, it’s like the 3-D virtual movie. I relive vividly all those memories, trying to reach them and the people in them. If I think about the future, I try even harder to reach. And that doesn’t work. What works is embracing the NOW!
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