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What it’s like to be another person.
You judge them based on their appearance, what they say, how they do life. And you form your impression of them.
I’m not talking about the cleaned up, G rated version of how you talk about them.
I’m talking about the way you judge people as if you were god himself:
“They’re slow and stupid. Are they even capable of learning?”
“I don’t like them – I wish they would die.”
Don’t look at me with self-righteous eyes. I know you’re thinking these things too.
Are you a horrible person for thinking these things? That’s not the point.
The point is that your thoughts, opinions, and judgements are emanating from a single source – you. They aren’t coming from anywhere else.
Sure, sometimes you agree with others and their opinions. But all opinions you hold as true are your own. You can’t shirk responsibility.
What you hold as “truth” is fundamentally just a perspective.
I know you want to hold on dearly to what you call truth. But it’s not truth. It’s just your version of truth.
So, you simply can’t know what it’s like to be in another’s shoes.
We say to “walk a mile in their shoes” but when it comes right down to it, it’s just grasping at straws.
Someone says they’re depressed. You think they can just think their way out of it or go do something to feel better.
But if you’ve experienced depression, you know it doesn’t work that way.
You will never know what it’s like to be in anyone else’s shoes.
So, are your judgments warranted?
Maybe you could begin listening from understanding, or compassion, or opportunity. Maybe that would change the relationship.
The reality is, you can listen to others from any space. It’s your choice.
But don’t assume that you’re always right. Don’t take truth for granted. Don’t pretend to know what something is like if you haven’t experienced it yourself.
Instead, become curious and seek to understand. You can’t claim to be empathetic if you don’t at least put in the bare minimum amount of effort required.