Once upon a time one guy tried to blow up a commercial jet using a bomb hidden in his shoes. His name was Richard Reid. Fortunately, Reid's attempts to light the fuse of the bomb attracted the attention of a cabin attendant who asked him what he was doing. A fight ensued; Reid was subdued and is now serving a lifetime sentence in a super maximum security prison.

Richard Reid's shoe bomb stunt is the reason why we have to take our shoes off at the airport before we go thru security. One guy affected the way tens of millions of people fly.

This is not about whether we should or should not be taking our shoes off. It's about the actions of one person.

Most people have feet. Most people in the world spend their entire lives, from the day they're born, in shoes. We never thought people would put bombs in them. That's because shoes are something we don't think about except when we're getting dressed.

Shoes are an essential part of our mobility. We put them on and take them off. Wearing shoes is routine. They're the most common item of all the things we wear. Boots in the winter, flip flops in the summer.

Most of us have more than just one pair of shoes. We need different types of shoes depending upon our environment, the clothes we're wearing, and our mood.  Some people have hundreds of pairs of shoes.  We like shoes. I never hear anyone say, “I wish we didn't have to wear these things”.

While the rest of us didn't give shoe bombs a thought, even after 9/11, somebody did.  Richard Reid.  One guy whose actions changed the way we'll fly from now and into forever.