The cobbler business might become extinct, and turn into nothing more than a nostalgia occupying parts of our memory and traditions. Despite our economic and social crisis, we still insist on a luxurious lifestyle. If that wasn’t the case, then why do we throw our old shoes before they wear out, and prefer to buy those being branded by the famous fashion labels in the world?
Some look down to the person bending his back and fixing a shoe sole with glue and nails, which brings up Victor Hugo’s saying: “There is no scurrility in occupations… but scurrility lies in individuals”, and this is part of a cultural superstructure, knowing that the cobbler is closer to the environment, and he is worth a lot more than all of our theories and some of our concepts which are based on showing off and scurrility.
The cobbler, in this context, is not just the person who fixes shoes, but he is the person who decreases our consumption and distances us from the addiction to consumption. Through the shoe making process, animal skin is used, so are a lot of materials coming from natural or industrial origin. As our shoe consumption increases, so does our exhausting of the Earth’s resources, in a way or another, even if it was in very small quantities.
However, is there anyone who thinks of fixing his/her shoes in our days? There is a very small number of needy people, in poor suburbs especially, who head to the cobbler to fix their shoes. Unfortunately, we do not find any environmentalist who is ready to put “half a sole” for his/her shoe.
It is said that Kamal Joumblatt asked his bodyguard to head to the cobbler one to put “half a sole” for his shoe, so when the bodyguard saw the shoe, he was amazed, and asked him: “Kamal Beik, we have put half a sole for this shoe “three times”, so Jumblatt responded: “Indeed, but its leather is still not worn out yet”.
That is how Kamal Joumblatt’s lifestyle was, very humble, and away from the materialistic world, while the politicians which are divided according to sects spend our money for their “luxury”, and many of them do not wear the same shoe for more than an occasion.