new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I believe in thongs

I'm talking about footwear, not underwear.They are variously known as flip flops, plakkies, clam diggers, jandals, chinelos or go aheads,depending on where in the world you are. I believe that thongs are simple in design, comfortable to wear, convenient, generally inexpensive, and extremely popular.

They offer some degree of protection for the sole of the foot but are otherwise not a safe form of footwear. They don't come in steel capped versions, they don't block UV rays and if you step on a nail, you will know about it. They are comfortable to wear although the cheaper brands may cause extensive damage to the area between the big toe and its next door neighbour: at least until they are worn in.They keep the foot cool by not incarcerating it within leather or canvas, but anything that is going to fall or spill on your foot will hit the foot directly. They are easy to put on and remove, although under pressure, for example when running or climbing, they can remove themselves. Thongs are also renown for going M.I.A. Widely accepted in a plethora of casual situations and gatherings, they are frowned upon at formal engagements and in the workplace.

Everybody believes in something. We all have some religion or philosophy or code of ethics by which we live. We either inherited it from our parents, subscribed to it because it was cool at some stage, discovered it for ourselves, or assumed one by default. Nobody lives without a belief system of some kind. It might be mainstream religion, a cocktail of religious beliefs or a homespun philosophy. Whatever it's called, whatever it looks like, however it operates, it's influence is unmistakable and irresistible.

You could believe in thongs if you won't to because most religious/ethical beliefs and especially practices are not too dissimilar to thongs.Religion and ethics will provide some protection for your soul but they won't provide salvation. They are comfortable because they can be adjusted to suit your circumstances or your feelings. Ever heard of moral relativism or situational ethics? They allow plenty of freedom, the rules are flexible. They work in easy, casual circumstances but when faced with tragedy and suffering, they fall apart and leave you defenseless. They cost nothing at all, they make no demands on you, they don't force changes in your life or call you to sacrifice.

If you like the comfort zone where faith is cheap and undemanding, where you won't make waves by offending people, where you'll fit in, then design your own belief system. Take the bits you like from wherever you can find them, and build a religion that suits you. Personalize it. Never mind about the truth. You believe in thongs.

1 comment: