Shoe Shining and Personal Growth

I was getting ready to attend an interview. My pants, shirt, tie and blazer looked sharp. The shoes, though, looked terrible. Terribly dirty. Indeed one piece can spoil it for the rest.

Shoe Shining

Brown, leather shoes. Mud under the sole and on the side. Dried up and very evident. My attempt at passing a semi-wet cloth to clean up the shoes for the interview was unsatisfactory even to me.

On my way off I decided to pass by a shoe shiner to let a pro help me with my situation. Help me look good for the interview. I was reminded there’s a big difference between pros and the rest.

Life hands us lots of choices. And sometimes others can help us better than we might help ourselves.

He unlaced my shoes, rolled up my trousers, put in blocks to prevent water and polish from getting to my socks. Happy socks.

Meanwhile, I decided the few minutes I had there were a good chance to catch up on my latest read “The war of art” by Steven Pressfield (a 5-star book about winning the inner creative battle). So read I did.

In between I caught glances of the master doing his thing.

He used soap, water and a sponge for step 1 of his process. In step 2, he used a sponge to rinse out the soap and dry up.

Then he applied brown polish to a different sponge and had a go at my shoes. Thoroughly. Diligently.

When that was over, he applied brown shoe cream using his finger. Then he smoothed it out using a sponge. After that, we got to the part most people only do – he brushed my shoes.

And then – he added some extra shine by ‘brushing’ my shoes with a special sponge before putting back my laces and tying them firmly.

Somewhere in the middle of his masterful shoe-work, I stopped reading my book coz I couldn’t believe how clean my shoes were beginning to look.

The thought on my mind was that they were beginning to look brand new again. Unbelievable! I laughed at my attempt to clean my shoes when I compared it to what this man had done.

Light Bulb Moment

A light bulb moment arrested me. I told myself, “Myself, isn’t this how we sometimes view others or view ourselves?”

Not-so-pleasant appearances that we sometimes try to polish up and sometimes fail to do a good job at.

Then sometimes we meet someone, very skilled, who helps uncover the layers of ‘dirt’ hiding that awesome-looking, brand-new feeling, light-shining personality God gave us when he made us. Each one of us has it.

Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be ~ Charlotte Gilman

We’re covered by ‘dirt’ sometimes. Others, and even ourselves sometimes forget how beautiful we are.

If only we could be seen for what we really are – what God intended us to be. That’s why I like challenging you to become the person you were designed to be.

Like the masterful shoe-shiner who step by step works on any kind of dirty pair of shoes, making them look brand new…

We sometimes need skilled people in our lives to help us grow and glow.

Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically.

Insights and learning come from odd and all places. I thought this was an interesting lesson. I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Tweet me.

Till next time, keep growing the good in your life.

– Evans “Always Be Learning” Musomi



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