The Air Jordan Phenomenon

Let me start by saying, I’m a fan of nice thing.  I like anyone else have my vices and am prone to getting caught up in the hype of some material things.  As are most situations in life, it’s easier to view things from the outside.

Today, all across the news and social media, everyone is talking about the new Air Jordan’s that have been rereleased…..same material and same design as the first time, same exact shoe, for a higher price.

People are standing in line for hours upon hours for these shoes, riots and fights have been breaking out all across the country for these…  People are spending their entire checks too get these same shoes….that everyone else has.  It’s almost as if the hysteria and hype and aura behind the Air Jordan’s have people believing that their lives are going to change if they have these shoes.  Like somehow that completes them as a person or will improve their lives.

But it won’t.  New J’s will come out.  And the same J’s that just came out will come out again.  And people will stand in line to buy them again, worried, anxious…hoping that they get them.  Meanwhile, Life is passing by.

This is not an attack on J’s, the same could be said for iPhones, iPad’s, and other things (which I’m a victim of), the issue at hand is our emphasis on things that don’t improve our lives, definitely don’t improve the lives of those around us, and become our idols….


We waste all this time and spend all this money too get things that “set us apart,” failing to realize everyone else standing in line is doing the same thing.  In the end, we’re all still “the same.”

When the first iPad came out, I got it right before I went to Peru, I thought I was something.  I proudly walked around Peru looking for Wi-Fi (too show off my iPad.) Guess what? They didn’t care about an iPad, they cared about one thing. How they were going to eat that day and provide for their families.

I recently warmed the homeless by passing out sweatshirts and toboggans too those in my own community.  Do you think they cared about J’s? They’d much rather have a toboggan, gloves, and socks, for themselves and their loved ones.

Yet we complain if we couldn’t get in line first to get the latest new Sneakers? While we wait in line for 12 hours, our significant others and families are missing out on the time we could be spending with them.

Yet we seem to never have enough time for those we care about.  We seem to be too busy to make it to church for an hour a week.  We seem to be too broke to tithe, yet we can stand in line half a day and spend $200 on some shoes that we already bought years ago for $120.

We as a country, have to wake up.  We have to put value back on things that matter.  Family, friends, relationships, FAITH.  Things that last.  Things that can’t be bought. Eternal things.

If you really want to stand out, try putting shoes on those who can’t afford them.  Try being a great parent or loving spouse, try improving your community.

It might not impress people, but it’ll sure impress the One who will Judge it All in the End.


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Baylor Barbee
Baylor Barbee
Author. Performance Development Speaker. Triathlete.

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