I watched a short film the other day, shared by a friend on Facebook, entitled, My Shoes. It was just under four minutes long, but it told a great story. The film reminded me a of the story, “The Prince and the Pauper,” except that the rich versus poor theme was not the only issue.
As the film opens, we can see a poor boy’s running shoes, which are coming apart at the seams. We hear the derisive laughter of other children, making fun of the boy’s shoes. The boy walks through a beautiful park and comes across another boy, who is sitting quietly on a park bench. The poor boy notices that the other child has on a pair of new sneakers. The poor boy wishes that he could be like the boy with the new shoes, and suddenly, his wish comes true, and the boys trade places. The poor boy is now wearing the wealthy boy’s clothes and shoes, but he can’t get up from the bench. His mother arrives with his wheelchair and apologizes for making him wait, and he realizes that the boy with the fancy shoes was paralyzed. Meanwhile, the other boy, now wearing the poor boy’s tattered clothing and shoes, is joyfully running around the park, grateful for health and strength.
We often wish we could be someone else. Perhaps it is because they are younger or older, stronger and healthier, or more attractive. Perhaps it is because they seem to have more money, more respect, more freedom, or more options in life. Perhaps because it looks like they are having fun, or that they have no worries.
If we could have our wish, if we could be someone else for a day, how often might we find that the other person has a host of problems that were hidden from us? How often would we realize that the other person had suffered a great loss recently, or that he/she had overcome a traumatic event in life? How often would we realize, too late, that we had traded away something valuable that we had failed to appreciate?
You can watch My Shoes on YouTube by clicking on the title. Kudos to Nima Raoofi of MAPS Film School, who wrote and directed this excellent film. 🙂