Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, you know not their journey.
I had a conversation with someone yesterday in relation to the blog post I wrote last weekend about the suicide of Charlotte Dawson. This person was gobsmacked that I harboured the feelings that I did. (There’s that old face we show to the world being different to what’s going on inside thing again).
What I didn’t expect to hear though was this vibrant, funny, upbeat and positive person was hiding the same demons as me. I was stunned to hear her stories of sitting in the corner of a room and staring at the walls for hours at a time because it was easier than coping with the life going on around her.
It’s funny how I want people to cease taking me at face value and realise that I am not who I portray but that I am guilty of doing the same to others.
My belief is that every single person is guilty of judging others by something as simple as the way they act, what they wear, who their friends are or even how they look.
I am a people watcher. I enjoy it. Every person is unique and I find delight in watching the interactions of others – particularly whilst I am sitting at a food court or another gathering place for the human race.
But I am also guilty of judging others.
I have raised my eyebrows at teenage mothers. Or shuddered at the person who really should have looked in the mirror before leaving the house.
But who am I to know their circumstances?
That teenage mother could very well be a victim of incest or rape.
The person who I believe was poorly dressed may only have a few items of clothing in their wardrobe.
First impressions are not always the correct ones.
Yesterday (whilst out shopping), the Tween nudged me and pointed out one such person who we believed should have looked in the mirror and realised that a midriff top just didn’t go well with a muffin top. However as I continued to watch this young girl, I saw her weaving between people and singing and chatting to herself. She wasn’t hurting anyone but she was raising eyebrows. After my initial agreement of her terrible dress sense, I realised that this young girl had something else going on in her life. I have no way of knowing what it was but I was reminded that my snap judgement was more than likely way off base. I was guilty of judging her based on her appearance.
What is it about the human race that causes us to view others through different lenses to the ones with which we view ourselves? What makes another person wrong if they don’t subscribe to our way of thinking?
Remember the horrible saying “There is more than one way to skin a cat”? It’s so true. For every task, there is more than one way to achieve the final outcome.
Everyone is different.
Every person has been gifted with talents of differing degrees.
We each see the world in different ways.
Some of us go about things in ways that may leave others scratching their heads in bewilderment.
I guess that is what makes the world such an interesting and vibrant place.
Watching people yesterday (as I waited for the GG to come out of a store), I smiled as a young girl begged her mother to please tell her what she was planning for her upcoming birthday. I cringed as a women used her tongue as a weapon against her children. I had flashbacks of my teenage years watching small groups of young teens just ‘hanging out’ together. I enjoyed watching and imagining, as for one small period of time, I (figuratively) walked in their shoes and remembered just how wonderful life is.
It is not until we walk in the shoes of another, that we understand just why they are the way the are. It is not until we develop compassion and understanding do we become better human beings.
And that is what we want isn’t it?