How about another old cartoon? This one is from 1903 and shows a theme we’ve seen again and again—back then kids just couldn’t wait to be able to start going barefoot all summer long.
This is an incredibly common point from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Kids couldn’t wait to be able to go barefooted. And mothers were always reluctant to let them do so, thinking that they’d get cold feet (literally, not figuratively) and then come down with something.
But the kids knew.
They knew it was more comfortable. They knew they were fine. They knew they were dressed just fine to go out mud-splashing or anything else.
I’ve mentioned this before, but when I go on organized hikes, I often have other hikers who are older than me tell me about how they used to go barefooted all summer long, and that they could run across gravel. But they could never do that now.
Too “civilized”, I guess. That, and they’ve let their feet go soft and they see it as too hard to restore them.
But it really was the “style”. These days the “style” is $150 shoes pushed by basketball starts. And somehow in the intervening years, it’s gone beyond style, and the myth has built up that it is somehow more dangerous, despite the lack of evidence that shoes do much of anything (they don’t even protect from nails in the soles).
Maybe we’ll be able to some day change that. But for now, the forces of complacent, nay arrogant, ignorance are pretty strong.