Monday, April 28, 2014

Walk In My Shoes

We all need to try to do it, but it's not something that we can do successfully for we are all different. I think the initial impetus for the statement was to prevent anyone from being so quick to pass judgement (in a negative way). There's that word judgement. Because apparently if you walk a mile in some one's shoes and you come to a different conclusion other than the one they came to, you are judging.

I don't always need to walk a mile in some one's shoes to understand their predicament. I don't need to do drugs to know that they're bad, I don't need to touch a hot stove to know I will be burned, and I don't need to steal bread to know it's wrong, even if I'm hungry. Walking in some one's shoes comes in to play when you analyze the events leading up to a situation.

And this is where I say, "There but for the grace of God......" I've been angry and I've had thoughts I shouldn't have; I might have done things out of sheer desperation. But something stopped me. I didn't do it.

It doesn't make me better than you, it makes me human and it makes me empathetic.

I can sympathize with a lot of things. We live in a flawed world and the more I talk and interact with people, practically nothing surprises me in terms of what people will do. But that does not always mean actions are justified - if that were the case, our prisons would be empty.

No it means, there is a standard. There is a right and there's a wrong and regardless of if I walked in your shoes or not, there was a choice to be made in how to proceed.

We commend people when they do the unexpected, and we condemn them for being the base humans they are.

Walking in someone shoes can be helpful but it does not provide the arbiter of how to deal with a situation. It only provides a window in to how they were thinking and what they were feeling at the time. And then. you being you, get to decide differently.  You may speak about it or write about it, but everyone won't be on your side and that's fine.

I'm not discouraging trying to understand others by walking in their shoes, but if they come to a different outcome, put the shoe on the other foot and walk in their shoes. Please walk in my shoes, if you can. I'll understand if you don't or can't. Honestly, just listen, try to understand and acknowledge regardless of if you've walked in my shoes or not. We all need grace.

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36 (NLT)

Do you walk in other's shoes? 

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