The older I get the more I realize that I have no idea how people live their lives. We are all so different, so unique, and our daily challenges plus life goals vary as much as each snowflake in a Winter snow. Sure we all have basically the same anatomy and yet we are each one an individual miracle of life.
I remember growing up a teacher talked about walking a mile in someone’s moccasins. They elaborated that only when we walk in someone else’s shoes are we able to begin to understand what their life is like to live each and every day. The challenge with this lesson is that we have the ability to take off their shoes and give them back. We can empathize yet we will never fully comprehend the troubles, circumstances or dilemmas of their world. We have enough trouble understanding our own let alone taking on another’s burdens. Walking in their shoes does help grow our own understanding too bad it is usually short lived.
Today I encourage you to work to understand how someone else feels. What are they struggling with, working hard to accomplish or how might they be challenged as these social distancing days continue? Sure you could walk around in their shoes or you could ask them how they are doing? Make it an open ended question so they can’t get away with a yes or no answer. Sit quietly while they talk and listen, really listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. See if you can understand the unique beat of their heart compared to yours. It is only when we work to know people that our relationships grow, change and endure.