What do you know about wooden shoes and etc?

wooden 1

Happy weekend people, although I use the illustration of wooden shoes as personally experienced by myself, this is no fun post…

So what did I really know about wooden shoes?

Before I tried them on, I can’t say I knew much about them. Indeed I knew they were also called clogs, and that you could find them typically in the Netherlands. I also saw several pictures of them on google images, and they were in different shapes, sizes and decorations.wooden-shoes-red-windmill

I had thus always looked forward to finding out more about them. Great was my pleasure when I met and became friends with a dear Dutch man, and aha right there in his yard were a pair of wooden shoes. I didn’t start off our friendship by asking to try out the wooden shoes, no I wanted to first understand the history behind wooden shoes. It took a while, and then yesterday I blurted out the question.

Brief History and Feel of wooden shoes

Proud to have tried on wooden shoes at last
Proud to have tried on wooden shoes at last

I got to learn that historically, wooden shoes were made by the Dutch Farmers during the winter months. They had more time away from their farms, they loved the warmth of those shoes, they were economical to make, and even if a cow stepped on your feet, only the shoes risked being ruined and not your feet. I needed to feel them. And so I was welcomed to do so. That was when I discovered for myself that they weren’t so comfortable as I thought. My friend admitted that indeed they weren’t. My demeanor changed for the next pose:

And I concluded they weren't cool at all
And I concluded they weren’t cool at all

The Real lesson for me

We are sometimes quick to think we know a lot or something about somebody’s situation, condition, illness, you name it. Taking my reasoning to mental health, I have come to realize how much the stigma is fueled by those who have never even “‘ worn the wooden shoes of mental challenges” for once. I also didn’t know anything although I joked at the ‘shaggys’ as a kid. It was when my brother whom I knew very well, suddenly got mentally ill, and I also gradually started going through my own series of mental challenges, that I realized there was no fun in laughing at a mentally ill.

And yet…  

Some people in the Netherlands still love their wooden shoes. They don’t just own them out of nostalgia like my friend, but they believe it is even therapeutic to the feet and fuss. You can’t force these people to stop wearing their wooden shoes, you can only enlighten them about the other numerous disadvantages and discomfort of those shoes. In a similar vein, and to a very large extent, you can’t force someone going through ‘mental challenges’ to get help. They have to seek for it before it becomes meaningful and sustainable.

Once we realize that it is better to first know what we are talking about, then we can speak with much more conviction. Please, keep learning about different subjects before you think you know it all. Also keep trying out different options to find out what works best for you. I have tried the wooden shoes at last, but I wouldn’t try them again unless at gun point…


10 thoughts on “What do you know about wooden shoes and etc?”

  1. I was trying to post a comment when my screen jumped and I hit the wrong button and unfollowed you! Yikes! Now I am following you again.

    This post is excellent. Until we try on the wooden shoes, we have no idea how it feels to walk in them.

  2. Lovely post Marie. I love the analogy you used.

    I tried a pair of clogs years ago, and they were really uncomfortable.

    And you’re so right Marie, we shouldn’t judge other people. You can never know about another person’s life, unless you’ve lived it.

    Have a blessed week ahead. 🙂

    1. You are so right, and yet so many people find it easier to judge than withhold judgment and wait…and think about how another person might experience the world! Thank you for your comment on Marie’s beautiful post. Pam

  3. Thank you, Marie, what a stunning metaphor and lovely post. Thank you! Oddly enough, when I first saw cloth clogs, in Finland decades ago — their traditional clogs are leather and always white, at least according to what they told me at the time — I really hated them. But they caught on quickly in the US soon thereafter and even though I resisted wearing them for years, now that I live in Vermont I am now a huge clog fan, though clearly not the wooden kind. The painted sorts are very pretty however, which only goes to show that appearances are only half the picture…and to extend your metaphor, mental illness is one of those invisible disabilities for many people.

    Sometimes you never know who it is that has a disabling mental illness, not even when they are right in front of you. Not every person who has schizophrenia, for instance, looks like it or pushes a shopping cart laden with household “extranea” down the street, homeless and laughing wildly to themselves…Not that this is so terrible either, frankly. As June reminds us above, we should all not be so quick to judge. And no, not even this picture as “bad” or “wrong” — not until we know the person and understand what he or she wants and his or her history. Too many people make assumptions that are wrong and/or erroneous based on what THEY want and are comfortable with, not on what the other person needs and wants. Believe me, I know, having been there and experienced it from that “other side.”

    Far too many times have people claimed to be “helping me” and only hurt me! It is not that I think they were badly intentioned, so much as I think they were ONLY thinking about how they felt and would feel, and not being truly empathic, not giving an inch or a moment to trying to think about how I, personally, felt, nor for that matter ASKING me.

    Finally, I want to remind people to remember that “ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and Me..” so instead of assuming any thing about another person, especially someone who has a mental illness, ask them questions,…Find out what they want and what makes them comfortable!

    As Toltec spiritual advisor Don Miguel Ruiz tells us in THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, which is the best book of its sort I ever read, you can and should ask any question you want to, so long as you are honestly prepared to accept the answer.

    Love ya,


    PS Do you know that recently I write more in YOUR blog than I do in my own! 8)

    1. Pammy your P.S makes me laugh with glee! Ok back to your entire comment, I am happy the comments I have attracted with this post, get the salient point I was trying to drive home. I’ll be seeing you soon Hurray!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s