How we walk sends a message

Marge Flados

How we walk tells a great deal about us: our age, our physical condition, our mental state, our station in life and how we regard ourselves among our fellowman. How odd that it should be so. From our first faltering steps, we walk in our unique way; some shuffle, swagger, mince or tromp.

Children walk confidently, placing their feet without thought to safety or misstep knowing if they fall, the chances are good their bones won’t break as a result. Interestingly my very first memory is of a misstep on a stairwell and the resulting tumble to the bottom of the steps, the pain in my head and my mother’s comforting arms around me.

When I worked as a nurse in an acute care hospital, I could easily detect who was the doctor and who was the tech as they walked down the hall, side by side in identical three-quarter length white lab coats. No need to see their identifying badges to know which was which. How? The walk.

A friend who had traveled to Russia over a dozen times told me she learned a strange and wonderful thing about being a citizen of this country. It happened while she was riding in a Moscow taxi, some years before Glasnost and Gorbachev’s dissolution of the U.S.S.R. She spoke fluent Russian and was making small talk with the cab driver. As the conversation moved from one topic to the other, her cab driver mentioned that there were more Americans seen on the streets of Moscow than ever before. Then he pointed and said, “See there is one over there.” She said, “How do you know that person is an American? He looks to me like he could be Russian.”

He answered, “You can tell Americans by the way they walk.”

“The way they walk?”

“Yes”, he said, “They walk free”.

She told me she had traveled widely but had never realized that free people walk differently, but since that time she learned that it was true. Free people walk free.

How interesting to learn that how we Americans walk is physical evidence to the world about who we are and that we walk free!

The Fourth of July provides a reminder that our forefathers created a Constitutional Republic that ensures freedom for its citizens. I offer a prayer to Almighty God that He bless and help us maintain this very special country for the sake of our progeny and our progeny’s progeny..

Marge Flados is a resident of Harlingen, Texas and can be reached at