Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

If the shoe fits…

| 4 Comments

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today, I wore a pair of sneakers I had not worn in ages. It took me less than 10 minutes to realize why: they didn’t fit very well. Thinking a little more about this, I realized that they were almost trying to impose on my feet a way of being a way that they were not naturally predisposed to being. It made me wonder why I had ever bought them in the first place. Oh, yeah, it was before I made my decision never to buy uncomfortable shoes. But these were sneakers, whoever intends to make uncomfortable sneakers? High heels,pumps, I understand; comfort is not the purpose or priority (and so I don’t wear pumps. Ever. I’m too tall in this society as it is). Sneakers, I don’t. But they are a pretty pair of sneakers, so I bought them. They sought to transform me. I could not transform them (you know, all this ‘breaking into’ shoes n stuff). This reminded me of my fave Timberland boots which I wore almost non-stop in the winter of 2009/2010 to cope with the snow in Norwich. Those were difficult to wear at first but once I got the hang of them, I could walk for hours in them and not mind.

This is really a not very subtle post about MOOCs and PLN. Someone today asked on twitter about people’s follow behavior and whether they’d unfollow someone because they disagreed with them. Most of us said we wouldn’t u follow someone based on that, unless they were posting really offensive stuff or were being really not useful.

For me, meeting new people and starting MOOCs are like trying on new shoes (no offense with the shoes analogy; women who love shoes will get how important shoes are, but in the Arab world shoes are an insult, but i mean the former). Something might look great but not fit no matter how hard you try. Something might seem hard and unmalleable (side note: WordPress thinks this word doesn’t exist?) at first but turn out to be really valuable if you give it time (Timberlands). And honestly, some things look good from the beginning and you continue to feel good with them.

And for the things that don’t fit, you can still learn to admire them from afar, understand why other people like them, evenrespect them in their difference, their distance from you. You can still try them on for size every now and then, you never know if one of you has changed. But it’s also ok to move on.

We all have different priorities and it’s ok to not keep wasting our time on shoes that just don’t fit, because,you know, there are already enough shoes that don’t fit that we’re forced to wear in our everyday lives anyway. Let’s not seek more discomfort just for the sake of it.

My friend Jan sent me a t-shirt that says “I may be wrong, but it’s highly unlikely” πŸ™‚ So I’ll end with that.

4 Comments

  1. This is shoe much fun. More fun then we shoe have. Shoe good πŸ˜‰

    One might also not to buy a pair of shoes just “because everyone else is wearing them.”

    I like wearing old beat up sneakers with the laces untied, like slippers. They feel comfy. Strangers constantly keep informing me that my shoes are untied. “Yes, I know, that’s how I like them.” But you might trip and fall. “I might, but I haven’t, and if I do, I will get up.”

    I will say I deliberately follow a few people I do not agree with and one or two I find rather egotistical. It reminds me of behavior I do not want to do. We share a world with people, and while we do not have to snuggle up to them, we are breathing the same air.

    I follow way more people in twitter than I look at or read- most just flows by. I rarely look at the main stream.

    • Hehe love ur comment on so many levels πŸ™‚ Shoes r both a gr8 analogy and a great word to play with, as u have demonstrated! (The unlaced shoes sound like trusting someone u’ve know awhile despite potential risks).
      Exactly same here re following on twitter! I follow lots of ppl and rarely if ever look at the main stream. I just look at my hashtags occasionally (i have tweetdeck open on laptop but am more often on a mobile device if not working) and more often actually respond to ppl who tag me. Who has time for the main stream?

    • Very few shoes fit me, and now that you posted this, I have to say that analogy is also accurate as a metaphor. Now you’ve got me thinking πŸ™‚

      I follow people who I don’t always agree with, but no one who is offensive. I like to think and remember that I am not always right, and that I need to be open to changing my mind…but only within my own perceived constraints. Ah, the conundrum.

  2. If we weren’t the boss of our shoes we might then learn to tolerate their efforts to please us?

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