Barefoot

Humans make tools. That’s what we do. But often we forget that our bodies are perhaps the most complex, most perfectly calibrated, and  most well-designed systems in existence. Our bodies are made to do certain things, and they do them VERY WELL. Ridiculously well.

Consider the best rock climbers in the world – the human body honed to an unimaginable level of skill, precision, and strength.

Go read a science journal or high-level math textbook – try and understand how much insight and careful thought went into unraveling those deep mysteries.

Admire an excellent painting or sculpture – think how intimately the creator must have known ephemeral Beauty to craft such art.

Humans, mind and fingers and emotion and intuition and dexterity and strength and endurance…

The extent and diversity of individual human talent is unfathomable.

We can create powerful, powerful tools. But sometime we don’t even need them. Sometimes our natural bodies, our natural minds, our natural abilities, are good enough. More than good enough. Often they are perfect. They are exactly what we need.

And why should we expect anything else? Why would we have any appendage or organ or ability expect because it is exactly what we need?

Fish have gills because they are made to swim in water. Birds have wings because they are meant to fly.

Is it really surprising that we would have something, except that it is ideally suited to how we should live?

This statement on human nature can be applied to many things, but here I will apply it to human feet.

Every single other creature that moves has specific appendages perfectly suited to its mode of movement. How can we say anything but that human feet must be exactly what humans need for transportation. Surely they are flexible enough, strong enough, durable enough, efficient enough.

No matter your world-view, philosophy, or religion, you must agree. Neither God nor evolution nor anything else would have given EVERY SINGLE OTHER SPECIES exactly the right appendages for movement, EXCEPT humans – the most powerful species that has ever existed on earth. That’s preposterous.

No other species needs highly adapted, specialized tools or technology to assist it in movement. No other species needs shoes. Why would humans? How could a species be so  thoroughly deficient, after thousands of years of evolution or after being designed by an perfectly intelligent God?

Relatively, humans have started wearing shoes only recently. Especially if we make a distinction between the shoes of today and the first shoes humans made. Modern shoes have an unnaturally raised heel and thick soles that prevent natural foot motion. The first shoes humans made were thin-soled sandals that only served to protect the feet against sharp rocks and such, and allowed feet to move very naturally. Toes could splay. The arch could actually act as the powerful spring that it is. The foot was free. Compared to now, where its movement is hampered and its efficient spring goes unused and its muscles atrophy.

Belief that we NEED shoes is equivalent to not trusting one’s own body. It is an insult to God, it is a mockery of evolution. I have not come across one respectable worldview that gives sufficient reason to despise the human body in such a way.

What hypocrisy, to trust one’s hands to create magical technologies and transcendent art, but not to trust one’s feet to be able to endure a little dirt and rock. What hypocrisy, to enjoy the triumphs of human intellect over all mysteries unaided by any tools, but to distrust the human body with even the most menial muscle contractions. What hypocrisy, to envy the speed and strength and agility and armor of various animals, and to copy their traits by ingenious design, and to further humanity by tricks learnt from animals; but to assume that man has no noble traits of his own, to think that the only virtue of man is his intelligence and ability to modify his own body. What hypocrisy, to look so hopefully to the future in which artificial tools will replace every natural aspect of the human organism, but to so completely forget the long preceding centuries in which humans embraced their natural bodies with their minds.

It is good to be human. Fully embrace what that means. Trust God, trust nature, trust evolution, trust probability. Trust that if every single other species has exactly what it needs, we do to. The human ability to create tools is powerful, even necessary. But not all tools are good. Not all tools are needed. Not all tools are better than what they replace.

I haven’t even given my personal reasons for going barefoot. Okay, I’ll give a few, then some links to information. Being barefoot is FUN. It feels good. It’s cheaper. It’s natural. It has countless metaphors for my lifestyle of simplicity and lightness and purposefulness.

As with many things, I go barefoot as much as possible because reality demands it. The universe has conspired that not wearing shoes is better, and I cannot help but align myself with the objective truth of the universe, now can I?

Further reading:

FAQ about going barefoot
The barefoot mindset
Running barefoot

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