Friday, August 19, 2005

The glorious and dreaded shoelace. So many ways to tie it and so many ways to knot it. Since its inception the shoelace has changed only slightly; its basic purpose remains steadfast. "... the rabbit goes around the bush and down the hole..."

Patience is probably one of humans' greatest challenges, especially as international technology and social interaction/ movement continue to speed up. These days, we collectively tend to look for instant internet solutions, quick self-help fix-its and drive-thru solutions. The faster, the better and if "I could get it yesterday," all the better. If it wasn't before, patience is now most assuredly elevated to a virtue.

Are you searching for a quick, easy and fun barometer as to your "patience level?" Should you wear laces of any kind, take a moment to reflect on the manner in which you tie and untie your shoes. When tying your laces, do you:

  • just slip on your shoes without retying your laces?
  • make a quick single knot, not concerned about the excess lace?
  • double-knot them and make sure the ends even out?
  • or wait until your shoelaces break or completely dissolve before replacing them?

And more importantly, when untying your laces, do you:

  • just slip your shoes off without untying them?
  • pull harder and harder on one of the laces if they don't untie right away?
  • untie your laces and then loosen them up all the way down your shoe?

I know of an employer that espouses a particular theory and one that he tests on his own from time to time. He innocently observes his employees and friends when they tie and untie their shoes. He then compares the manner in which they tie/untie their shoes to their observable patience when dealing with work matters. His hypothesis is this: Those that tend to quickly tie their shoes "haphazardly" or slip their shoes off without untying them, tend to have a lower patience level than those that neatly tie and untie their shoes every time. He further stated that those with the lowest patience level are those that will just pull harder on a shoelace when they are presented with a knot in their shoelace.

I don't particularly agree or disagree with his theory, but it makes you wonder... If we don't take time for the simple and easy tasks, then how will we be prepared to be more patient during our much grander challenges in Life? We - myself easily included - seem to want instant responses to our situations and just pull harder and harder for a solution... only to have the situation tighten more and more...

When I asked this employer about the growing trend of slip-on shoes, he did state that this trend was causing problems with his "research." And he further stated that observing individuals putting on tennis/running shoes these days curves the results as most people tie their shoes quickly as they are generally in a hurry to exercise... probably another perspective to consider: in a hurry to exercise?

As a final note, for those of us who may only possess slip-on shoes (excluding tennis/running shoes), consider what that says about us as well. And I must admit, I did purchase a new pair of the NikeFree running shoes - they are very lightweight and simply slip on...


Post Note: Are you finding that one of your shoelaces - usually the right - always breaks, check out a better way to tie your shoes at: It is a most "unique" with a ton of information on tying your shoes - like you need that to clog up your brain!

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