OP: Can we put ourselves into other people’s shoes?

29 October 2019

Abby Jadali

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People are not perfect, and you already knew that; you did not need me to tell you. But we are all perfectly imperfect, and in being this way, we all have an obligation to be our best and work to understand each other through that idea.

It is wrong to look, judge and assume how another person is based on their personal ideas, political thoughts and appearance, but because we are not perfect, we tend to forget that fact.

So how can we help ourselves from judging people so often?

I have come to learn that attempting to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is the first step to accepting them for who they are (depending on what you fi nd).

When we try to wear someone else’s shoes and walk in them, we grow and develop a better understanding of who they are as an individual.

It is important to do this because it is wrong of us to assume that just because we view the world in a specifi c way, then the ways that others view it are inherently wrong.

The moment we disagree with someone’s view of the world, it means we did not take the time to think of the reasons they may be feeling this way. The idea of privilege is so much more than just socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexuality, etc.

Those things are parts of us that we normally cannot help and they do not necessarily make us a good or bad person.

Someone using that privilege for their better interest is someone trying to prove that their views are the right ones.

Say someone is telling you something that directly affects them and the people in their personal discourse — by telling them that that is not true is you using your privilege to discredit what they have said.

Just because it does not happen to you, or you do not always see it, does not mean it is not happening to others.

Walking in someone’s shoes (or at least trying to understand their point of view) does not mean you can say that you have felt or are relating to how that person is feeling or reacting.

What it does mean is you can understand them and their discourse community better because you took the time to recognize their background and how it relates to yours.

I think that this idea is not a foreign concept, and I do believe that a large majority of people practice this type of understanding for another person or group of people.

I just want those who may not be participating in this type of recognition to understand that the privilege you hold in the world does not make you a bad person; what makes you a bad person is assuming that the way you look at aspects of the world is the only right way when those of lesser privilege would have to disagree.

Try to understand why you hold your stance and why they hold theirs, and then maybe the world will be a more peaceful place