You always hear the phrase ‘put yourself into someone else’s shoes’ but how many of us actually practice that rather than just preach?
Do we put ourselves in the shoes of the gas cylinder wala (The vendor who delivers the Cooking Gas Cylinders at home) who you’re honking at cos he’s holding up the traffic. He has a whole day of lugging these cumbersome cylinders around from door to door to make ends meet.
When bargaining with the local vegetable vendor, do we consider that the 10 rupees we save that may be inconsequential to us could be the difference between his children going to bed hungry or not?
Do we put ourselves in the shoes of the traffic policeman whose duty is to be the guardian of our roads regardless of the scorching sun and Sundays were scratched from his comfort?
Would you think twice before getting annoyed at the food delivery boy who was late because he was braving torrential downpours so we could eat a meal in the comfort of our home?
The thing is that merely the thought of putting ourselves in another’s shoes doesn’t mean shit. The only means to truly understand what another person is going through is to actually live in those shoes for a day. That is the stepping stone between sympathy and empathy.
– Brian Griffin