Music and the Spoken Word

The Lesson of the Mismatched Shoes - Sunday, February 4, 2018

All of us like to succeed at what we do-and we especially like it when others notice how successful we are. But success comes with risks. When the applause is loud and the spotlight is bright, it's harder to see who we really are. Fortunately, life has a way of reminding us.

So it was with a well-known news broadcaster who anchored the evening news for 24 years. Years before he made it big, while his star was still rising as a reporter, he received the coveted assignment to cover a presidential election. Eager to make a good impression, he rose early the morning of the election, dressed in the dark, and took a shuttle to New York City. Before going to the studio, he sat down for a shoe shine when the shine man said, "It's been a [long] time since [I've] seen that!"

The journalist looked down. To his horror, he realized he was wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe.

There was no time to buy a new pair of shoes. His only hope was to slip in quietly and get seated behind the anchor desk before anyone noticed. But when he opened the door to the studio, there were the president of the news division, the president of the company, and the chairman of the board waiting to greet him. Sheepishly he made the long walk to his desk, his footsteps echoing throughout the studio. He was certain everyone saw his mismatched shoes.

He later wrote, "Whenever I begin to feel any confusion about who I am, or I find myself taking the star treatment seriously, I remember the black shoe and the brown shoe."

There's nothing wrong with holding our heads high, but let it be not for applause or recognition but rather for the personal satisfaction that comes from integrity, hard work, acts of kindness, and doing what we know is right. And before we kick up our heels for a job well done, we might pause to make sure our shoes match.

See Dan Rather and Mickey Herskowitz, The Camera Never Blinks: Adventures of a TV Journalist (1977), 311-12.

February 4, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,612

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell

Standing on the Promises
Russell K. Carter; arr. Ryan Murphy

The Lord Is My Shepherd
Howard Goodall

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
American folk hymn; arr. Dale Wood

Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates, from Messiah
George Frideric Handel

Be Still, My Soul
Jean Sibelius; arr. Mack Wilberg

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', from Oklahoma!
Richard Rodgers; arr. Arthur Harris

O Praise Ye the Lord
C. Hubert H. Parry; arr. Mack Wilberg