We always hear about the need to feel with others and walk a mile in their shoes, but how many of us can actually visualize what this entails? Not such an easy process.
Picture this, literally, since Hala H. Hassan was kind enough to actually illustrate it.
but can you imagine what this would involve? In this case both our guys might be similar… in all fairness, they even wear similar shoes, and it’s still difficult. To really step outside one’s comfort zone and say, I will put my personal problems, issues, and hang-ups aside, and just try to feel with you. Try to understand what you’re going through. God knows I’d need to do that the next time I’m having an argument with my reason for being (Love you!)!!!
Wouldn’t this be one way not to play MAD? (Refer to previous post about the political strategy – Mutually Assured Destruction).
If students were to put themselves in the teacher’s shoes, what would it be like? is it easy to give a lecture to a class of 45 students? Is a teacher’s need to impose strict rules for the benefit of the whole class? Would these empathetic students be able to understand that if they walked a few minutes in their teacher’s shoes, they might do worse?
I remember a time when I had two student assistants proctor an ungraded diagnostic test. These students were so harsh. The rules were so rigid. No one was allowed to leave their room! They ran in my shoes rather than merely walked, and did quite an authoritative job on that!
So, yes, it’s all in the shoe, but instead of wondering whether the shoe fits and then wearing it, why not try out different shoes, and even if they don’t fit, even if they’re too big for us, like the illustration above, maybe we can help others at that time of need, even if we can’t completely carry all of their burden and help them with it.
So rather than spend time today thinking of which shoe to wear, why not think of whose shoe you’d like to invade for a bit? just a teeny while…and get to know someone else inside out.
My choice: I’m going to invade an aggressive driver’s shoe. Why is this person so irritated? is he rushing to work? does he have an annoying boss who’d deduct money out of his salary if he doesn’t make it on time? has he had a horrible night? does he have a wife and four kids, and is driving the only time in which he’s in control?
What about you? Whose shoe will you invade?