It is easy to take things for granted and lose sight of gratitude.  I did that once in Afghanistan.  It was bitter cold and I had on every piece of “snivel gear” known to man.  I was wearing a base layer, a thermal layer, and an outer layer.  I had on ski socks and Danner cold weather boots.  One of my teammates and I had just finished talking about how cold we were when a kid no older than five years old walked up wearing thin cloth and no shoes.  It was then that I realized I was not tough.  I was not even close to tough.  This child was far tougher than I ever wanted to be. 

 

My team and I started calling, writing, and emailing friends to send us shoes to give to kids in the local villages.  This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  TOMS shoes does one better.   When you buy a pair of shoes they donate a pair of shoes to someone who needs a pair.  Here are all of the ways TOMS helps others http://www.toms.com/improving-lives. 

 

When my wife was serving in Africa she met people who walked up to 20 miles a day in Sub-Saharan Africa without shoes.  Between these two experiences we came to realize just how important having shoes is and how many people in the world lack what we take for granted every day.

 

This year we are pledging to go barefoot on June 20 in support of TOMS efforts to help others.  For every student and family member who agrees to go barefoot on June 20 Premier Martial Arts will donate a dollar to TOMS mission of helping people.  TOMS has also generously agreed to provide one pair of shoes for every person who takes the pledge and goes barefoot.  Please join us on June 20 and go barefoot.  It is a great chance to do something for others and to foster an attitude of gratitude in yourself.  

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