Walking in their shoes

Walking in their shoes

Hope, you are well!

How does it feel to walk in someone else’s shoes?

It’s a question that we don’t ask as often as we should. We might not like what we see. Someone else’s shoes might be uncomfortable because their day isn’t quite as easy as we expected it to be. Or their business isn’t quite as straightforward as we thought it is.

It’s much easier to walk in our own shoes. We are used to wearing them. We know what to expect when we put them on. They feel comfortable.

The virus provides us with a new perspective on this. In a way, most of us are walking in completely new shoes these days. In shoes we’ve never worn before. Unusual ones. Ones we would never have chosen ourselves.

And although it remains hard to imagine what it’s like when someone else is walking in these shoes, we do get an impression of how they might feel. Because this time we’re all wearing the same shoes. It’s as uncertain for us as it is for them. It’s as uncomfortable for them as it is for us.

This has led us to see others with different eyes. We can now see them struggling just like us. We can now see their fears and desires as we share the same fears and desires. And we can now see how it’s ok to change minds from one day to the next. To shift priorities. To be less than perfect.

This is one thing we should strive to keep after this is over. To see others, not just look at them. To acknowledge their fears and desires, not dismiss them. And to treat them in a way we ourselves would like to be treated when walking in their shoes: with respect, patience, and understanding.

Take care.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz