Not long ago I was introduced to a thirty-something entrepreneur who inspired me. Unfortunately, he was 'introduced' via a television commercial, and not in person. His name is Blake Mycoskie and he is the "Chief Shoe Giver" for TOMS Shoes. My hunch is he is much more comfortable being known as the CSG than the CEO! In 2006 he befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. That was the beginning of the One for One program.
Then, last week, I saw him interviewed. He talked about how these "Shoe Drops" are not only in developing countries, but are also organized for needy children in the United States. They call the program "Style Your Sole." Children are given white canvas shoes and art supplies and are encouraged to decorate their own pair of shoes. I thought it was an awesome idea! The gift of a pair of shoes is made all the more valuable by becoming a reflection of each child's personality. Now that is a masterpiece!
I love the cause, but it is the phrase "Style Your Sole" that also stuck with me. I couldn't help but think about changing a couple letters and pondering the possibilities of a program called "Style Your Soul." Perhaps we have crafted our souls somewhat unknowingly already. So, if I were to intentionally style my soul, what would that look like? How would I do it? What tools would I need? How would I decorate it? What colors would I use? What words would I use to describe it? What music would I play to express it? Who would I show it to? What effect would the style of my soul have on others?
Protecting the 'soles' has helped children in developing countries walk distances for food, water, shelter and medical help, has prevented cuts and sores that lead to infection and even amputation and allowed them to attend school, ultimately realizing their potential. All because of a pair of shoes.
Imagine then, the possibilities as we protect and style our souls! Living with intention from the essence of who we are and coloring our world as only we can, will also bring safety and health, joy and hope as we cross paths with others. It is clear that's what Blake Mycoskie is doing. His 'world' grows bigger every day as he is faithful to do what was put in his heart to do. I am inspired by him to do the same.
Here's to Styling Your Soul!