Friday, June 7, 2013

The Parable of the Jazz Shoes

Or Everything I Learned About Human Nature I Learned From Shoes

Once there was and once there wasn’t a young girl who loved to dance and her name was Heather. Every year her parents scrimped, plotted, saved, and planned to pay for Heather’s great heaping pile of dance shoes, which Heather required for her countless dance classes.  She always needed a boatload of dance shoes, and they ‘aint cheap.
Believe it.
The year that Heather went “on point” she required: point shoes, ballet slippers, tap shoes, and character shoes. Her parents scrimped, plotted, saved, and planned to give their daughter the required shoes. The first week of dance classes Heather’s parents were informed that she would require—in addition—to her point shoes, ballet slippers, tap shoes, and character shoes, a pair of tan jazz shoes.
The well was dry. The money was gone. The budget blown.  Heather’s parents sadly but firmly informed her that there would be no more shoes provided by the family largesse.
Heather’s parents said, “Work, save, buy! It’s up to you.”
“Do I have to?” Heather asked.
“Yes!” They chorused.
She did, buying the last lonely pair of jazz shoes with her own hard earned, scrimped for, plotted to get, saved up, and well planned for money.
Then something mysterious and wondrous occurred.
The shoes provided to Heather by her parents went to dance class in a huge jumble, in a dance bag reeking of foot sweat and calluses, slung over her shoulder with cavalier indifference.
The tan jazz shoes—purchased by Heather with her own money—went to dance class in their original shoe box wrapped lovingly in their original tissue paper, carried tightly under her arm—with a pride of ownership and a tender awareness of their worth.
When Heather put the jazz shoes on she began to dance and dance, faster and faster and faster, until she turned into butter.
(“No! That didn’t happen. That’s just silly)
What did happen is that Heather’s parents learned an important lesson about children, grownups, shoes, responsibility, human nature, welfare, generosity, dancing, and charity.  Shoes you sacrifice and work hard for never get left out in the rain—by accident—ever.
Linda (Time to Pony Up) Zern


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