I think I’m going to give up escalators. While I’m at it, I’ll also give up elevators.
It’s the least I can do for the poor people of the world.
I mean, just think of all the poor children who are deprived of powered elevation. Whenever they want to go to the second story (or higher!) of a building, they are forced to climb stairs.
And we know how awful that is.
Why, when I do it, my knees creak something awful. And I always start huffing and puffing, which surely cannot be good for me. My heart rate jumps through the roof, and I bet that heart attacks have even been precipitated by climbing stairs. Not only that, but once I sprained an ankle in the dark when I missed the top stop on a staircase, and another time I fell down a few stairs and hurt my shoulder while using stairs. These are the sorts of dangers that poor folks have to put up with every day.
Surely there is some charity out there dedicated to making sure that these poor people have elevation devices so they are not subjected to the same stresses. It’s important!
And I can start using stairs to draw attention to the plight of these people and maybe raise some money to buy somebody a shiny new escalator. And if I’m really good at it, maybe the charity can fund me to go to some far-off country to help install the escalator. Wouldn’t that be fun?
But it would be a real sacrifice for me, having to do all that huffing and puffing just to help these poor people. How better to show my dedication.
Oh, I can hear the unsympathetic naysayers. They whisper behind my back that the only reason I huff and puff is that I’m out of shape, and that if I used stairs every day my body would adapt, and that it would improve my overall health. And they suggest that stairs work just fine if you watch where you are stepping and hold the handrail. (I’ve even had others suggest that if I use them barefoot I’ll be able to feel the steps and prevent accidents.)
But if I did that how could I demonstrate to everybody else just how truly giving and caring I am?
It’s that time of year again—basketball coaches are coaching barefoot again for the shoe charities. See the news story from earlier this week: SDSU coach no longer alone in coaching barefoot.
Never mind that kids that go barefoot have feet that adjust to it. Put shoes on them and their feet weaken, and then they really can’t go barefoot again without
huffing and puffing tenderness. Never mind that what they really need to avoid infestations (e.g., hookworm) is decent sanitation (really, outhouses would be fine), and that decent sanitation would also help in keeping their water clean and avoiding intestinal diseases. Never mind that school uniforms and shaming would be fixed by simply not requiring shoes (for some reason they’ve become convinced that they need shoes to prove that they are “civilized”).
Oh, I’m sure these coaches’ hearts are in the right places. I’m sure that they think that going barefoot is a showy way to draw attention to what they’ve been led to believe is a problem, and is the least they can do to help these people.
The trouble is, it really is just about the least they can do.