Follow the Silly Leader - A Children’s Story

As a young child, Susan was adamant about putting on her own shoes. From the beginning she would place her left shoe on her right foot and her right shoe on her left foot. Her parents, loath to stifle her individuality and crush her spirit, would never correct her. They felt that once Susan got a bit older, that she would feel the pinch of shoes on the wrong feet. As time went on, Susan grew used to the feel and continued placing her left shoe on her right foot and her right shoe on her left foot. The day came for Susan to enter school and as she had always done, her new school shoes were put on the wrong feet and laced up. It is interesting to note, that though she had gotten use to the pinch, she still walked and ran slower than her playmates. Once Susan entered her classroom, her classmates questions to why her shoes were on the wrong feet, were met with, “That is the way I’ve always done it.” Now Susan was a pretty little girl with blonde curls and the delight to her other classmates. One by one, over the next few weeks, her classmates followed suit and began to place their left shoe on their right foot and their right shoe on their left foot. Soon rather than being the slowest at running, Susan’s speed became the norm as the idea spread to the other classes in her school. The PTA held a special session to talk about the phenomenon. After much debate, the decision was made to never correct their children so that their individuality would be nurtured. An edict was sent throughout the city, detailing the benefits of individuality by gently persuading young children to place their left shoes on their right foot and their right shoes on their left foot, just like Susan.

Avie Layne 2012