Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Close minded people.

Why is it, that people, no matter the field, background, or occupation will cling to whatever they were told, wear it like armor, and wrap themselves up in what they perceive as facts, insulating themselves from any other points of view, locking them in an a state where that very arrogance leads to ignorance?

Why is it that someone who went to medical school for years, and learned about scientific method and thinking, upon leaving said institution, think that he can learn nothing new?

Why would someone, a scholar, act as if the world and our understanding of it is static and does not evolve continuously?

Do these questions seem like they don't at all describe the actions of a scholar, a doctor?

To me these are just the arrogant insecure defense mechanisms of the normal man, as well educated as he may be, is exhibiting the same silly tendencies as just another person on the street.

What makes my information any less valid than his opinions? There was once a time, as cliche as this reference is, we thought the world was flat. People who believed that was not so were ridiculed. Those people blinded by their deeply engrained beliefs were not helping anyone by trying to uphold old, and unsubstantiated beliefs.

Back to the point I am sure you all know I am trying to make by this series of rhetorical questions.What, and before I ask this, separate yourself from your preconceptions and everything you have been told. Use your own mind.

What sense does it make that something that alters a natural function, causes measurable, quantifiable, damage to the body, be so widely accepted and be so popular among the entire population, and even endorsed by healthcare "experts?"

Why are those who have never even tried this lifestyle those who are often deemed as the most credible?
Why is it that people that have lived this lifestyle often report having never been so happy and healthy.
Why is it that people who live free of footwear report a shockingly lower amount of injuries and health problems?
Why is it that the only people who say we need shoes are those who enslave themselves to those very shoes?
Why is it that people who move in and use their feet in a natural way, have personally experienced the benefits both short term and long term,  are seen as the radicals in society?
Why is it that we are the ones that need to go out of our way to explain ourselves?

I believe that it is the ones who want us to stomp around in clunky foot bricks that should have to prove themselves to us. I believe it is they who are the radicals, who want to change something that is so natural and intuitively right.

I can give you reasons all day long why not to wear shoes.
If you want me to wear shoes you better be able to come up with some reasons for it, because it is me, it is us, barefooters, who are using our feet as they were designed to be used. If you want someone to divert from what is natural you better be able to support your point of view. You also need to understand that what you feel is not what we feel when we walk barefoot.

Ever broke an arm, leg, or other bone? Ever notice how after the cast is removed the muscles on the limb have atrophied and you must rebuild its strength? What is the shoe but a silly flashy foot cast. It will, and does weaken the foot, creating a dependency on shoes.

Perhaps, and this is something I dearly hope is not true, perhaps, those people who do all they can to counter this revolution in health and general wellbeing do so because they stand to lose money on a healthy populace. Who needs a podiatrist if everyone has healthy feet?

I will leave you with that.
Food for thought.
Use your own mind, and explore your thoughts on this matter.
I encourage you to leave any thoughts you have below.
I look forward to your feedback.

Barefooting is easy
Barefooting is good for you
Barefooting is NOT illegal
Join the revolution

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  1. Part 1

    First, let me voice my concern over using the word "lifestyle," which carries with it connotations that do not serve well. Your use of the term is not incorrect, of course, but the implications for many people will be that going barefoot is akin to wearing certain clothing from trendy stores, namely that it is a fashion statement. In fact, it is not a fashion statement, but the natural state of humankind. In a biological sense, people who go barefoot are perfectly natural and normal, and people who choose to wear shoes are unnatural, an aberration, a deviation from what is normal. It is they who have adopted a lifestyle.

    In an unnatural sense, (i.e., a cultural sense), the shod people are, of course, representative of the mainstream in modern Western civilizations and really now are mainstream throughout the entire world. Their lifestyle has become dominant, as you know. The medical profession is a reflection of the culture. You make the mistake of thinking that physicians are devoted to the scientific method, when, in fact, they are mostly not. They reside deep in the heart of the culture and are often quite conservative. This is understandable: the culture serves them well; they profit greatly from it. The typical doctor in the United States serves not the scientific method of Kepler, Descartes, and Newton, but the economic method of Adam Smith. They will naturally be guided by what is safe and profitable more than by what is right and controversial. Welcome to civilization. Welcome to America.

  2. Part 2

    The battle will not be won on intellectual grounds, but on legal ones. Most of the people to run stores or public places often bar barefoot patrons because they are under the mistaken impression that they are following the law. These people, as you perhaps know, are not well educated, or even educated at all in many cases. They, like all uneducated or undereducated people, operate on the basis of fear. They are afraid that allowing a barefoot customer in the door will cause them legal trouble. As soon as they find that the opposite is true, that barring a barefoot customer is what will actually cause them legal trouble, the problem will be solved. Such people live in constant fear of being sued.

    I had an interesting experience some years back. A Starbucks manager told me I could not come into the store barefoot. I asked why. He said it was the law. I left. But then I wrote to Starbucks corporate headquarters and explained to them that there was no local, state, or federal law that would bar me from being barefoot in their store and I hinted at the fact that I had been discriminated against (which, of course, I had been). The manager was not an intelligent or educated man. He didn't really understand the fact that our local city council, our state legislature, or the United States Congress (or regulatory agencies) do not spend their time enacting legislation telling people what they can or cannot wear (in my state, Vermont, by the way, it is perfectly legal to go totally naked if you want). Starbucks headquarters made him apologize to me (via phone) and, in addition, give me free coffee. I was told that Starbucks welcomes barefoot customers, so long as there is no law that prohibits such, in all of its stores. The educated corporate lawyers trumped the uneducated local store manager in this case.

    The whole story illustrates why it is so important to press the matter in a legal sense. If there is no law, if there is no store policy (local managers will lie about this: they are often not only uneducated but also dishonest, so you may have to press the matter), if there is no sign on the door, so to speak, then you can go in barefoot. In short, it is highly problematic for a store to discriminate against customers on the basis of laws or policies that do not exist. Highly problematic. This is a battle that, at least at this stage, must be fought and won on legal grounds. If more people started going barefoot in public (unlikely in the increasingly conservative United States) then it could be won on economic grounds because denying so many people access to a store or restaurant would affect the bottom line, but that is something that is unlikely to come any time soon.

  3. Makes sense. Here is an analogy. During the first part of the 20th century, weightlifting and bodybuilding was done only by circus freaks and some extreme sports fanatics. The general belief in the medical community was that lifting heavy weights to get bigger and stronger was a bad thing, that it would cause "muscle binding". Top "strongmen" of the day would be part of product advertising campaigns for various "snake oil" type vitamins and supplements, saying that is how they got so big and strong, along with using various tension resistance exercise devices. But what they were really doing was lifting very heavy weights in order to get strong. They did not want the mainstream population to know exactly how they got there. Then they no longer would be unique, and the strongest around. Since the 1950s or so, we know better. That lifting increasingly heavy weights is very good for you. Great for muscles, joints, and tendons. That there is no such thing as "muscle binding". And that almost anyone can get big and strong if they just work hard enough at it.
    It's time we re-educate the public that going barefoot will give similar results, and that we have somehow lost that information.

  4. When someone insists that there's a law or regulation requiring shoes or banning bare feet you will get nowhere in a back and forth "Is so"/ "Is not" exchange.

    Maybe it would be better to try saying something like, "I've heard some people say that there's a law or regulation like this, but I can't find it anywhere. I've even asked the police and the state Health Department and they say there is no such law. But you seem to know all about it, so if you could just give me the specifics of what law or regulation you are referring to, I sure would appreciate it."

    With this, you put the onus on them to support and document what they've said. Of course, since there's no law or regulation, they won't be able to cite anything. Then if you want to be polite, you can offer your phone number or e-mail address and ask them to contact you with the information when they are able to find it. Or if you want to go for the kill, you can say, "Okay, let me get this straight. You're telling me that you know of some secret law, so secret that neither the police nor the Health Department have heard about it. And you are absolutely sure of what this law says, yet you can't tell me where I can find it and read it from an official source. And I'm supposed to just believe you? Are you joking or are you delusional?"

    If they try to use privately posted signs as evidence, you can point our that laws are enacted by Congress or the state legislature and regulations are written by government regulatory authorities. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores don't make laws or regulations.

  5. this is a truly inspirational blog. I became interested in barefooting ever since watching Cody Lundin on discovery.