TOMS Shoes, Reducir Velocidad, Fast Pace, and Enjoying Life

My generous mother got all her grandchildren TOMS Shoes for Christmas. Every time a pair of TOMS Shoes is purchased another pair is given to a child in a third world country. That means that this Christmas, somewhere in the world, eleven kids who didn’t have shoes are now wearing them.

Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal. The first name for the company was “Shoes for a Better Tomorrow,” which then became “Tomorrow’s Shoes,” and finally “TOMS Shoes.” In The Wall Street Journal article Mycoskie said:

The best road trip I’ve ever taken was the drive down Chile from Santiago to Patagonia. While passing the most pristine countryside and glaciers, I came across an old rusted sign on the road that read “reducir velocidad” (“slow down”). I pulled over and took a picture because I thought it really meant something prophetic. I made 700 copies of that picture and sent it to my friends and influential people that support TOMS. People still tell me that picture sits on their desks and reminds them to slow down and enjoy life.

January is a very busy month for me…this year more than others. I am teaching a class at Concordia University — Wisconsin every day these first three weeks of the month, writing an Advent Series for Creative Communications for the Parish, and doing my best to stay on top of things with sermons, homebound and hospital visits, and worship planning. It’s very difficult for me to slow down. And enjoy life.

But as I sit here and reflect on this day my mind is slowing down my body and helping me to enjoy life:

  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach college students who are respectful and interested;
  • I appreciate their attentiveness and eagerness to learn;
  • I’m incredibly appreciative for the opportunity to be employed to do something I really enjoy: writing;
  • I’m blessed by the 95-year-old woman I visited today who loves the Packers as much as I do;
  • I look forward to worshiping together and sharing God’s Word with the people of Mt. Calvary;
  • I’m thankful for my health;
  • I love how long distance phone calls from my children during the day slow me down and allow me to appreciate them;
  • I look forward to dinner with my wife every evening, where we slow down, talk about our day, and appreciate each other.

Reducir Velocidad. Slow down. As the new year begins it’s so easy to jump right back into the rat race and forget the slow and simple leisure of the Holiday season.

Take at least a few moments to slow down and enjoy the moment each day. Don’t let life pass you by. Count your blessings. In the midst of the whirlwind find the calm.

When you take a moment to slow down, what do you most appreciate?

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