Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Earlier this evening, I chatted with my friend who is studying abroad this semester.  She told me about some trouble she’s run into with other students who are being judgmental and catty.  While, I was upset to hear that a few people are making her trip less enjoyable, I was not surprised that judgment and unkindness know no cultural boundaries.

I have written previously on judgment in my post “Let It Go,” but after several similar conversations, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper on the subject.  It seems that more and more often people judge one another mostly because they have a desire to compare themselves to the people they judge. But what grounds does this comparison stand upon?

For example, say two people are in a room that is room temperature.  Subject A is too hot and Subject B is too cold.  Both think the other is wrong, but under what grounds?  Subject A says that Subject B should just put on a layer, while Subject B says Subject A should take one off.  They’re comparing based on their own standards, but this isn’t fair.  Everyone is different and some people have naturally higher or lower body temperatures, and thus natural aversions to certain temperatures.

The same thing goes for every other comparison that comes to mind.  Not everyone has the same tolerances, and people certainly don’t respond to criticism in the same ways.  And you know what, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

People go on and on about how we need to accept people’s differences, but then turn around and judge based upon comparisons. What we really need to do is put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Yes, I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but really think about it for a moment.  When people are judging you, don’t you want them to think about how it makes you feel? Exactly.

So to my readers, let’s all try to be a little bit more open, you never know who’s spirit you might encourage just by putting yourself in their shoes instead of judging.  And to my dear friend on the other side of the world, try not to be down because people are mean.  Just remember the friends who love and support you.

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