Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Photo Meditation of the Month (August, 2011): THE FEET


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A female person's foot
Photo (Toronto: August 8, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa 
 
The feet -- our feet -- are a wonderful creation of God. These, like the feet of other animals, give freedom to human beings. The feet make us what we are.

The feet made a great contribution to human civilization. Movement and running from one place to another, jumping, dancing, kicking, and the like made mankind’s actions more varied and colourful. Two simple feet created understanding and bridged friendship between one person and another, between one racial group and another, though many a time these created conflict and misunderstanding through their improper use.


The feet also played an important role in food preparation in different parts of the world. In grape-wine-making countries, people used their feet to crush grapes for fermentation. In rice-producing countries, women use their feet in sun-drying process of newly harvested rice and also in de-husking rice with the dhenki (wooden dehusker).
 
Women’s feet, especially young women’s feet, play a great role in men’s realm of romance and love. Many poems have been written in various languages eulogizing the beauty of women’s feet. There have been conflicts and, even battles, between suitors to win the favour of elegantly feeted women. 

The feet also have a role in expressing respect and loyalty to persons. Even today, in some Eastern cultures, younger ones greet, pay respect and express loyalty by bending down and touching the feet of elderly people. 

On the other hand, the feet are also used as weapons – in kicking and thrashing someone. In domestic violence cases it can be seen that many a husband’s feet were used against their wives. Some of the policemen, in some countries, use their boots in kicking the hell out of citizens deemed as threats. The police, as a form of punishment, also use their feet for kicking arrested persons. 

The same feet, used in a different way, serve as a symbol of degradation and dehumanization. Shoes were thrown at U.S. President George W. Bush in Iraq and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the University of Cambridge, U.K. Ordinary citizens kicked and trampled upon statues, posters and photos of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain and Libyan President Moamar Gaddafi. 

In fine, we should be grateful to God for our feet that help us move about, rush to help others in distress or disaster, create beautiful dances, and the like. The simple feet then can be elevated to a higher plane.



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