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A right way to tie your shoes? Or, keeping an open mind about the little things.

Hello Gold Star Squad, and welcome to Tune Up Tuesday!


In recent days, I have been thinking a lot about the value of keeping an open mind. So many people in this country have turned a cold shoulder toward people who don't think exactly the same way that they do.


I think that this is unfortunate. There is so much to learn from the opinions of other people, especially those that we don't agree with.


We can learn a lot about ourselves by inviting in different viewpoints and seeing what resonates with us and what doesn't and contemplating the reasons why. I believe that appreciating differences and developing compassion around them will lead to solutions much faster than turning others into enemies who should be vilified.


In the midst of all of this rumination, I remembered an article that I read many years ago about tying your shoelaces. The article told the story of a man named Ian Fieggen, who has thought a lot about how to tie shoelaces. He even has a knot named after him, Ian's knot.


The article discussed the fact that Fieggen would tell people that they were tying their shoelaces wrong. In fact, he would often convey this to people he randomly saw on the street.


As you might imagine, many of these people did not take well to Fieggen's message. I specifically remember the article stating that quite a few people actually seemed wounded by the critique.


Although I didn’t agree with Fieggan’s decision to label people as being “wrong” if they tie their shoes in a certain way (I think that “inefficient” tying might have been a better description), I found this article to be fascinating because I think it illustrates how deeply people are invested in being right.


Most people really don’t want to hear that they are “wrong” about something, even if what they are allegedly wrong about is something as seemingly trivial as shoe-tying.


When you are criticized, it hurts! It can hurt even in situations where you objectively determine that the criticism lacks merit.


And that's because, deep down, people just want to be loved. They want to be appreciated. They want to feel like they are doing things "right," like they are doing a good job. When people yell and scream and lash out against others, it's often because they feel unheard, unloved, or unappreciated in some fashion.


In the years since that article was written, I am happy to report that Mr. Fieggan appears to have backed off his shoe-tying criticism. He now states that his knot is the "fastest" way to tie your shoes. If you want to check out the knot that he invented, you can do that here.


All those years ago, that article opened my eyes to the fact that there are just SO many opportunities to learn if you keep your eyes and your heart open. It now serves as a reminder to me to be as compassionate as possible when others don't act the way that I want or expect them to.


Today, I am appreciating the fact that I have the ability to work on cultivating an open mind about all things, the big as well as the small. I am also appreciating shoelaces that stay tied!



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