I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I did some research and found it’s origin…
“The admonition to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means before judging someone, you must understand his experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. The full idiom is: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. In effect, it is a reminder to practice empathy. While long credited as a Native American aphorism, replacing the word shoes with moccasins, the saying almost certainly is derived from a Mary T. Lathrap poem published in 1895. The original title of the poem was Judge Softly, later titled Walk a Mile in His Moccasins. There are many variations on the phrase such as walk a mile in his, her or my shoes. A plea for empathy is phrased put yourself in my shoes, as well as put yourself in his or her shoes.” From Grammarist.com
I will admit that I judge people by what I see – I am working on that. I assume I know what is going on by just seeing someone and what they is happening around them. It is not something that I am proud of but it is definitely something that has changed in me.
Why can that Mom controlled their child? They are just misbehaving.
That Mom needs to put those kids to bed. It’s too late for them to be out.
A man loving a man is just wrong and unnatural.
As hard as it is to admit it, I have thought all of those things… and many others. I consider myself a compassionate person but let me tell you, I have been shown otherwise – lovingly but been shown.
For example, someone I know had a major tragedy happen to them and they did not want to be hugged when I saw them. Being a very huggy person, I could not understand that and was a bit offended. I just could not understand why…
Then my Mom was killed in a car accident….
A tragedy like that (and the one the other people were I am sure feeling) leaves you so raw that you have no idea what to do or feel.
I did not understand why they felt the way they did until I walked in their shoes. I will not say that I fully understand because I don’t but I do have a better understanding.
Why am I saying this? Why am I putting this out into public? I am asking YOU to be considerate and compassionate before you judge.
Perhaps that Mom is single and she can only go to the grocery store at 9pm because she just got off of work. Her kids have been with a sitter all day and she wants to spend time with them. Instead of judging her, give her a smile; distract her kids in the checkout line so she can concentrate on what she is doing.
Perhaps that child who is “misbehaving” has had to change his medications and it’s rough on him (and their mama or daddy). Or all the lights and the noise are too much so they just lie down and hope it will go away.
You just don’t know…
Have some compassion and understanding.