Makeshift Socks

April being April, we went from 24 degrees Celsius on the weekend to 2 degrees and snow this Thursday. You can only weather so many changes of the elements before one catches you off guard, and so by the time I got to my train, my shoes and socks were completely soaked.

After I arrived at WeWork, I took off my socks and hid them in a corner, hoping they’d dry by day’s end. But what to do in the meantime? My fabric sneakers were still wet too, but I couldn’t run around a co-working space barefoot either.

When I went to the toilet and looked at the paper towels, lightning struck: “I’m gonna make my own socks!” I wrapped some of them around my feet, and after some experimentation with how many layers I needed where, my paper socks were ready to go — and once again, so was I.

I ended up wearing my makeshift socks all day long, and, thankfully, when I went home at night, my socks were dry enough for me to put them back on. Mission accomplished! End result? Not bad.

For all our technology, prediction algorithms, and convenience at the push of a button, sometimes, the best days are those where you go back to the Stone Age. Where you’re facing a simple, foundational problem and come up with an equally simple but elegant solution. Start a fire. Fix a chair. Put together makeshift socks.

The plot twist may be benign, but the feedback it sends is real: Even in our world of highly specialized and complex everything, you can still make change. You can affect things. Transform them. And make the world better for it — even if, at first, it is only your own little one that benefits.

Remember the basics, and be proud of your makeshift socks.