Having the capacity to mentally walk in the shoes of another person opens up our minds into being mindful of the needs and perspectives of that person. Even as we do this, we need to be mindful that it is rare for us to fully know what is occurring for the other person. Disciplining ourselves to pause and deeply reflect about life from another’s perspective slows down our judgment. It creates spaces for empathy and actions focused on reaching out and building up. Life lived from this perspective, frees the mind to enrich relationships and build capacity of all those around us.
Jesus not only walked in our shoes but also took on all of our burdens and shortcomings so that we could be free to use our gifts to connect with the lonely, lift up those who are suffering and to provide hope for those without it. As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5: 11, we are to encourage each other and build each other up. Imagine our conversations if this was the mantra held by all. Imagine our world. We can make it happen in our area of influence. For a day, take the challenge of redirecting self-talk and the conversations around you with the question of, “What would it be like to walk in their shoes?”.