Hats and Shoes, I’m Picky.

October 28, 2011 — 1 Comment

I'm not picky about much. I think most people who know me would say I'm pretty easy to get along with (maybe too easy, at times). But like everyone, I have my idiosyncrasies. Particularly when it comes to hats and shoes.

My wife purchases a lot of my apparel. She's got a good eye and my "style" is pretty ordinary. I have almost no opinion about the clothes I wear. Except when it comes to hats and shoes. Then I get very specific about what I like and what I don't. 

Last year for Christmas or my birthday (I can't remember which–the two are only 6 days apart) my wife and girls got me two hats, similar to the ivy cap pictured here. I love caps like that. My favorite is a houndstooth cap in cream and chocolate that I had for years before misplacing it just a couple months ago. 

The two caps they gave me are great, but I knew as soon as I put them on that they just weren't going to work for me. I can't even explain why, but they just weren't. That's a sticky situation to be in, am I right? Someone gives you a gift that is thoughtful and you realize that, despite their intentions the gift just won't be utilized. Ah, well. I have a wonderful, gracious family. A few mild alterations made one of the hats work. The other makes a nice decoration for a hat rack. 

I have similar hang ups about shoes. Now, please don't confuse my pickiness for taste. I'm quite sure that I'm not up to speed on what shoes (or hats) are "in" this season. But for me, that's immaterial. I know what I like. But why shoes and hats? Why not the rest of my clothes? 

I think that it is reflective of a major theme in my life: the interweaving of knowledge and action. The importance of both the head and the feet. 

It's not enough to know a lot of stuff or even to know the "right" stuff (as if that is even possible). There's a fancy word for that: orthodoxy. It means "right thinking" or "right knowledge." In some Christian traditions, orthodoxy is the fence around who is "in" and who is "out." For them, faith is predicated upon right belief. Nor is it enough to just "do the right thing." On the other end of the spectrum from orthodoxy is orthopraxy or "right practice." The idea there is that our beliefs are predicated upon what we do. Neither orthodoxy nor orthopraxy alone is sufficient.

I think you have to have some of both. On the one hand, you must know what it is you believe, and have some ability to articulate why you believe the way you do. On the other hand you must show evidence of those beliefs by how you spend your time and your money. I love my hats but am getting pickier about my shoes. What about you? Hats or shoes?

Anderson Campbell


  • April Campbell

    I love the metaphor here…..and I’m pretty sure that you could write a whole paper with this as your basis. I thought of another thing that you are picky about. Your glasses. I’m sure there’s something there about the lenses through which you see the world……