The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

You Cannot Walk in Someone Else's Shoes

Culture, Life

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view -- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  - To Kill a Mockingbird - Atticus Finch


We have all heard the sayings, "walking a mile in someone else's shoes" or "You can't understand a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes," “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” and you really cannot.  You still see things from your own perspective. 


It’s a reminder that we can NEVER know what it’s like to be that person.


When you hear, see or experience other people's lives our mind reacts to try to put ourselves in their shoes and consider how we would deal with it.  It’s impossible, for us to actually do so from their true perspective. We would hear, see, and experience things differently and our history of life and personal make up affect that.


Let’s take the saying literal – if I were to walk in your shoes for a mile my foot maybe larger or smaller, contoured differently with a higher or lower arch.  My foot might be wider or narrower.  I will NEVER feel what you do! I would feel your shoes through my feet! It would help me understand what it's like to be me wearing your shoes, but it still doesn’t mean I know what YOU feel!


You can live with someone your/their whole life but that doesn’t mean you are in their shoes.  You may know intimate details or have a better idea of what the other person goes through, but that is still not walking in their shoes.


No matter how much you think YOU do, you do NOT and cannot.  We are all made up of our perceptions, experiences of success and failures, our societal programing, our genders, our whole being.


To walk in their shoes we would have to wipe clear all of who we are and then copy over who the other person is.  It is NOT possible to do that.


Even when technology allows us/you to dump memories or experiences from others into our own brains, they will NOT be the same!


We are all created differently and a challenge I find difficult someone else would find easy.  We are all tainted and tinted by life. 


Closing YOUR eyes for the whole day doesn’t mean you know what a blind person feels!  It might give you a better perspective but NOT the same.  Just as someone who loses their sight and someone who was born without sight, they both have differences and know things differently.


We can only say we think we know what the other person feels or experiences indirectly.  We are guessing albeit an educated guess it is still a guess!


Rom 14:4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants?  Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall.  And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.


Can a man EVER know what it is like to give birth?


Let’s look at this example:


First we have a man who as a child was abused by his father.  This man has issues relating to male authority figures.


We have a second man (if it was a woman how would she relate?) and he had a very loving father, how does he dismiss those thoughts and experiences to understand the other man?  If you cannot demise them completely, it isn’t the same!


He cannot, thus cannot walk in his shoes.  If you could you would be them and make the same decisions and have the same thoughts.  Even with thoughts, people hide the deepest of them and until we have mind reading devices will we understand it.


What about walking in Jeffrey Dalhmer’s shoes or the mind of killer?  If you did would that cause you know what drove them to kill?  Would it mean you would understand them?  Agree with them?


Rape victims and people who lost loved ones often say that no one will know how they feel exactly and even someone who went through a similar (notice it cannot be the same thing as that diminishes the individual)  are NOT the same.  People grieve differently even a husband and wife that lost a child do.


That happened to my wife and me.  I can NEVER walk in her shoes, I see things from my perspective and how I perceive she does.  I know my wife better than anyone, but I still cannot walk in her shoes.


No two situations are the same just as no two people are.  Not even twins!!


What about the person who lives with someone their whole adult life and the person snaps?  Should they have seen it coming?  Maybe, maybe not! 


You cannot walk a mile in their shoes, at best your past experiences and growth of things can make you better understand things but in the end you cannot walk in their shoes.


Those that claim they have walked in other peoples shoes are NOT being truthful.  They can be better understanding and may have a better idea, but that isn’t the same.


We can never walk in someone else’s shoes for a mile or even a footstep, but we can hope of a better understanding and to learn to walk beside someone else, and attempt to see things, a small glimmer from their perspective for a short while.  But in the end we revert back to us and they them and hope we took something from it.


This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools