I was waiting for the great man to speak. He was supposed to be example of what young men who want to succeed can be. I was looking him over during his introduction. He was fashionably dressed from his suit and tie down to his shoes. It was while I was looking at his highly polished shoes I noticed the rather large hole in the sole of one of them.
I have no idea what he said during his presentation. I didn't take notes. I do remember that people seemed to enjoy it. All I thought about while he spoke and all I can remember today is the hole in his shoe.
If he had been talking about the need for insurance, or relationships, the hole in the shoe wouldn't have bothered me. But, he was talking about success . . . and a hole in the shoe and success don't got hand in hand . . . or even foot in foot.
Seeing a hole in the shoe on today's well-thought of individual speakers would be very, very rare, but a hole in the shoe doesn't really have to be literal. If can be figurative.
I know a particular congressman. If he were to talk about family values, I would remember hearing him as he spoke condescendingly to his wife over the phone one morning. That would be his "hole in the shoe." I know a businessman who speaks about treating his employees well and respecting their opinions. I know him well enough to know that if they said anything that differed from what he wanted to believe, they would no longer be employed by him. That character flaw is that businessman's hole in the shoe.
Generally, you don't even have to know people to see their hole in the shoe. Sometimes you'll pick up on it by how they act towards people, the difference of what they say versus what they do, or statements they make which are at odds over what they've already said.
While not everyone is walking around with holes in their shoes, there sure seem to be a lot of them. All we can do is watch out for them, be aware of their faults, and protect our own feet.