like TOMS.

mjkimpan  —  June 19, 2012 — 25 Comments

who knew the type of shoes you wore could cause such a stink.

despite the fact that TOMS, which are typically worn without socks, cause my sweat-ridden feet to smell like the rotting, decomposed corpse of a leviathan, i’m still a fan.

see, TOMS was founded on a simple principle :: One for One.  for every purchase you make, TOMS will help a person in need.  founder blake mycoskie saw a problem and decided to do something about it. ‘Giving is what fuels us,’ he says. ‘Giving is our future.’

as of september 2010, TOMS customers had helped give over one million pairs of shoes to children in need.  as the movement grows and awareness increases, the popularity of TOMS shoes continues to make a difference in the lives of others – individuals and entire communities whom most customers will never even meet.

what if we all lived like TOMS?

it inspires me to see an assembly of people moved to action on behalf of others…when individuals see others in need and are motivated to change something – a habit; a way of thinking; a way of being – in this case, buying a pair of TOMS or going a day without shoes in order to raise awareness and make a difference.  curiosity leads to conversation, which leads to action.

it’s easy to criticize.  blogger kelsey timmerman writes here about some of the problems with TOMS shoes, making the poignant observation ‘The problem isn’t shoelessness.  The problem is poverty.’  she’s right.  there are other voices, such as the infamous blog, ‘Good Intentions (are not enough).’

these voices have a point.  kids grow out of shoes.  a new pair of shoes won’t feed a family, nor will it stop rape and violence in war torn countries.

TOMS shoes alone will not change the world.

but every child that has received a pair of shoes because of blake mycoskie’s vision will never be the same – and their world has changed.  instead of dismissing the nagging pang of guilt when he was made aware of the numerous children in need on his visit to argentina, blake was stirred to actually do something about it.

what if we lived like that?  what if we ALL lived like that?

what if, every time we made a purchase of any sort – clothing, food, technology, coffee – we not only thought of our neighbor who has less than us, but chose our purchases with a desire to be an ethical consumer?  what if we actually decided to make a difference?

if we choose to make a difference, we will.   

if our contribution – yours and mine – to bringing heaven to earth went beyond merely buying a pair of shoes and extended to us proactively seeking opportunities to make a difference in our daily choices, i can’t help but think that the global impact would be literally lifechanging.

a good place to start  further reading on practical advice for how to do this is this book ::

everyday justice :: the global impact of our daily choices by julie clawson

julie does an excellent job of laying out the issues and providing practical real life scenarios in how our every day decisions can make a lasting global impact, all the while relying on the bible for her understanding of justice.

what are some ways you’ve changed your habits to make a difference on behalf of others?