Unlearning to tie my shoes – Video by Terry Moore
I was on a long trek recently. One that involved a lot of walking, a lot of hiking, and, to be honest, a fair amount of running. Whether I was running from something or to something still remains unclear in my mind. Maybe it will reveal itself someday. But, when we use this bipedal mode of transportation we were inherently given, we can’t rely on just our feet. We often require shoes. Shoes often require laces. Laces require knots. One day, I found myself in need of shoes. I had been relieved of my shoes, all of my shoes (that’s another story for another time), and I found the most marvelous replacement in a pair of used Chuck Taylor’s in a market in Mexico.
There was a problem, though. The laces would always come undone. And, this is not the problem you want to have when running. I could have resorted to the double knot, but it seemed like a band-aid instead of a solution, and it seemed a little childish as well. So, I resorted to the ancient book of wisdom I have come to rely on whenever there is a puzzle I cannot solve. I googled it.
“How to keep your shoes tied.”
What I came across, changed my life forever. I know I risk trivializing my existence with a statement like that but hear me out. There’s a point to this story. I came across Terry Moore’s Ted Talk: How to tie your shoes.
Moore explains that there is actually a strong and a weak version of the knot we use to tie our shoes. One stays tied. One comes undone. Guess which we were taught. Uh-huh. So, I started to teach myself the strong version. In fact, I’ll be honest, I’m still teaching myself. Because I have learned that it is not that easy to unlearn something. And that’s where this led.
I was taught to tie my shoes the wrong way. We all were. And, although now we know it is the wrong way, officially, we are still teaching our children the wrong way and continuing on the same path. Why? Because its easier? Because we know how to do it the other way? Because we don’t have to learn something knew? Or, because it takes effort to change, and we’re all just too busy for that? We know this is the right way, the video is undeniable evidence to that. We know that this simple solution will effectively make our lives better and easier, but most of us, even after watching this video by Terry Moore, will continue to tie them the way we were taught since childhood.
This is the way it was for me with many of the concepts proposed at thetri.org. Sustainability, fair trade, environmental stewardship, conscious capitalism, operating a business under a triple bottom line, these are strong versions of the knot. And, the knot is society, it’s life itself.
But, I had been taught a different way, most of us have. Just as with tying my shoes, the right way had to be learned, and the wrong way had to be unlearned. I am not there yet, but, I’m trying. I’m focusing on learned behaviors that are wrong in order to change them. I’m conscious of the problem and I am continually trying to learn the behavior that solves it.
And, that is how a video on tying shoes changed my life. The question is: How will it change yours?
As with laces, such is life.
Thank you, Terry Moore.