Try on Some New Shoes | 123Read&Write

An educational blog entry about putting yourself in someone elses shoes. What is empathy?


As a teacher, I've found this method to be helpful and enlightening. To "try on some new shoes", I put myself in other people's shoes (i.e. situations). By doing so, it allows me to investigate what their motivators may be. This strategy reminds me of a song I love called What It's Like, by Whitey Ford. One line states "God forbid you'd ever have to walk a mile in their shoes". That is exactly what we need to attempt sometimes. It teaches us empathy . . . an emotion many of us in our busy lives have forgotten. So, what is empathy? Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Thereby, to make myself a better and more understanding person, I apply this strategy often. Take the classroom, for example. Why is "pick a name here" acting up so much today? I put myself in their shoes and can gain a strong perspective:

a. Mother and Father recently divorced.

b. Taking the divorce very hard.

c. Forgot homework at Dad's house over the weekend.

d. Money is extremely tight.

. . . and the list can go on. This is just one generic situation. Everyone we meet has their own unique situation. The point is, don't automatically assume the worst about someone. Try on some new shoes and see if you can learn something from them.