What would it be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?
We often hear the phrase, “Don’t judge unless you’ve walked a mile in THEIR shoes”…This concept makes sense, it seems easy enough, it’s how we want others to treat us, yet sometimes it’s not that easy. Why?
This has been on my mind lately…
I think about all the amazing people doing amazing things without anyone knowing or acknowledging them. I think about those that are always being told how wonderful they are and are acknowledged by many. I think about the people that on the outside look like they have it all, yet behind closed doors their life, family, or marriage is falling apart. I think about those people who are happy and confident on the outside, yet can hardly bare the hurt on the inside. I think about the well behaved children that seem to follow every command. I think about “those” kids that aren’t as obedient. I think about the families with special needs children. I think about how rampant divorce is. I think about those that believe there is a God, and those that don’t. I think about the dad’s with great jobs, the one’s without jobs, and those that recently lost their job. I think about those people that have low tolerance for kids. I think about the statistics of abused and battered woman and children. I think about the statistics of people diagnosed with cancer or other chronic illnesses. I think about those that have unexpectedly lost a loved one. I think about the statistics of infertility. I think about those that have lost a child. I think about those that are victims of sexual abuse. I think about those that want to be married, but haven’t had the opportunity. I think about those parents that have an uncontrollable child. I think about life and how HARD it can be.
And then I think about…
The lady that was so patiently waiting behind me, and played with my baby at Hobby Lobby while they SLOWLY processed my return. I think about the checker at the grocery store that hardly looked up. I think about the bully at school. I think about a teenager that is pregnant. I think about a sister. I think about a brother. I think about my parents. I think about my friends. I think about my family members. I think about the people waiting in the doctors office. I think about my kids. I think about other people’s kids.
I don’t know the lady’s story at Hobby Lobby, I don’t know the cashier’s story, or the bully’s story, but I do know a lot of these stories, and what I’ve learned from the stories I do know, is that we need to be a little kinder, a little more understanding, a little more compassionate, a little more forgiving, and a little less harsh, a little less “they should do this, or they should do that”, and a little less judgmental. I’ve learned that even when we think we know the full story, we so often don’t.
The truth is, we will never walk in someone else’s shoes, but we can always walk with them.
Be kind to someone today that is not kind to you. You don’t know their full story.