The famous proverb has said it “before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes”. Have you ever just looked at the way someone behaves or perhaps the choices they make ? It’s okay if you are guilty.
As it happens we make very little efforts in digging into people’s lives just to get a hang of what it feels like to be them. We remain rather on the sidelines, observe, make assumptions and even make judgements because we ” know” better.
We often see or read something about other churches and make judgements. We even observe other people’s choices and behaviour at times and, without knowing the full story, it is so easy to watch from a distance and “throw stones” as the saying goes. But do we really realise how pathetic that is?
The reality is that there is always a reason why people behave the way we do. What we really don’t take into cognisance is that we differ in so many ways; we travel different paths and munch on different snacks that life comes with.
The mistake that we make is that we relate other people’s circumstances to ours “She breathes, I breathe so why can’t she act like me”, right?
Most of the time when we meet a person for the first time, we immediately put them into boxes. We judge them based on their first impressions but don’t you feel that’s a little too early to have you thinking that a person is a particular way.
So how about we set aside our biases and overgeneralizations, to really see behind the façade. It will be good to always try experiencing the world from another person’s perspective; to walk in their shoes, to view life from their living conditions and to feel what it feels like to be that person.
Always ask yourself if you know that particular person inside out and whether you know what made them the person that they are today. If you can understand what they go through day after day, if you can relate to them and what it must feel like to be in their position, then you can form an opinion about them, without being biased.
It is also worth bearing in mind that unless you really experienced the exact same situation as that particular person, with the same burdens, problems, and suffers, then ask yourself if you are in the proper position to judge or even criticize this person.
As the saying goes, “if you could walk a mile in my shoes…” I wonder how differently we would live if we could really understand and empathise with others. It might be easy to sit back, watch and comment from the sidelines but it would be more interesting to get into their shoes and have a feeling of whatever they go through.
It is only then when we have the right to make a difference, an opportunity to truly help and as we do we can’t help but be transformed in the process.
So I say… Get off the sidelines and into the actual game. Get off your soapbox and start doing something about it.
Step out of your comfort and “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” and watch what a difference it makes to you and those around you.