Here’s another one of those articles about bare feet that appeared during the Vietnam War. It’s written by Ward Cannel, who had a regular newspaper column. It appeared in the summer of 1967.
My take is that he’s straining a bit trying to sound profound. On the other hand, he’s probably just working to create copy on a regular basis (something I’m becoming rather aware of).
Bare Feet Free The Soul
By Ward Cannel
Contrary to the French belief in the liver and Anglo-American trust in the heart, it is our firm conviction that the true seat of the emotions is in the feet.
To prove this basic fact, you need take off only your shoes and socks and walk through the grass, sand and water.
People who live the most upright and prudent lives when shod will — if they go out of doors barefoot — think nothing of taking off almost all of their clothing and lying down in broad daylight right in front of everybody.
People who are vitally concerned with getting ahead in socks and shoes will — once they are barefoot &mdash spend hours sailing their boats from one meaningless spot in the water to another just like it.
Lean and avid people, once out of their boots, have a tendency to sleep a good bit of the time, gain considerable weight, and quote at length the things they learned at their mother’s knee — even though they know that she has been replaced by a body of knowledge.
Now, this is not to say that the world would be a better place if everybody went around barefoot.
Quite the contrary. Without socks and shoes, nobody would ever accomplish any of the towering achievements that advance the race or even do any of the ordinary important things that keep it running.
Who has ever seen a statue of a great man unshod? No saddle, perhaps. Often no shirt. But never barefoot. In fact, in statues of the greatest men, we have noticed that even the horse is wearing shoes.
So, as we said, we have no hope for the barefoot life. Our intention is only to demonstrate that mankind perceives the world through its feet.
A man in his bare feet would never dream of coming to a summit meeting, board of directors meeting, joint chiefs of staff meeting or meeting with a client.
On the other hand, a man in his bare feet would never dream of driving a tank, challenging anybody to a race, kicking some body, or standing around in a hospital testing washing bleach.
In the recent Mideast war, Arabs took off their shoes and socks before fleeing the advancing Israelis.
As a man in bare feet thinks differently from a man in socks and shoes, so a man standing thinks differently from a man seated.
When a man has been standing for any considerable time — especially a man who has had some military training — then he will tell you that war is a terrible thing. Any war, anywhere.
But let him sit down for a while and rest his feet, and the problem becomes much more complex.
To a man seated the war in Vietnam is a bad war. But the war in the Middle East is a good war. All Latin-American wars are bad. But all African wars are good — unless someone is eaten. And so on.
It is for this reason that world leaders at peace conferences are always shown standing, whereas the actual meetings are always conducted on chairs.
In the same way that a man on foot thinks differently from a man seated, so a man with his feet up perceives the world differently still. Even if he is lying on a bed of nails.
This explains the magic of of the psychiatric couch and also the obscure logic of India’s foreign policy.
In any event — erect, astraddle, supine — it is with the feet that people do their important thinking, especially the best educated and most reasonable.
An expert may be able to plan a global war that will kill everybody, including himself. But he can’t bear the thought of stepping on an upright razor blade barefooted.
Measured by the same yardstick (three feet long, naturally), the difference between dissent and disloyalty among today’s young people depends on whether they were wearing sandals or no shoes at all when arrested.
Oh, by the way, while the columns are nationally syndicated, the headlines are written by local editors. So I thought you might find it interesting to see how they varied.
Emotions In Feet
Not Liver, Heart
Bare Feet Free a Man’s Sole
Civilization Can Be Judged By The Foot, Not Yard
Want To Free Your ‘Sole’?
Try Walking In Bare Feet
When a man’s feet are bare, he’ll find his sole is free
Seat of Emotions — Man’s Bare Feet
Happy Man Is Unshod
Bare Feet Free Sole