When it comes to criticize and judge others, we are all experts. Without mercy we go through life like judges criticizing and condemning others, but what would happen if we could spend the same energy we spend on judging others, in trying to understand them? Could it be possible that our understanding could change the way we see others? What if we would have the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes?
A few days ago, in one of those beautiful summer nights where the sky is clear and full of stars, and the temperature is pleasant, I was quietly sitting on an armchair in my balcony gazing at the stars. For some reason, every time I look at the sky I start to reflect about a certain topic, as if there were something up there, probably God, watching me and whispering something to me. In that night I started wondering about how much people tended to criticize others. I think because we can’t cope with our own life, we tend to focus on others rather than ourselves to feel less miserable.
While I was thinking about it I imagined how would it be to walk in someone else’s shoes. How would it be for one moment be in someone else’s skin and see life through that person’s eyes, and feel what that person feels. I was thinking that probably would increase our understanding for others, and we would become less judgmental. Our hearts would open, and we would change the way we treat others, becoming more understanding and compassionate, having more empathy and being less ruthless judges.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
I always try to find examples that will help me clear my concerns. It is so that I imagined a little story about a man of about 30 years who used to criticize others constantly. It didn’t matter if you didn’t have reasons to criticize someone, this man always found a reason to criticize someone. Day and night, he was always criticizing and gossiping about other people, and no matter how annoying and despicable he was, he will always find followers who will applaud him.
One day, he went to a near shoe repair shop to collect one of the shoes he had left for repair. He entered into the shop, and suddenly a strong wind closed the door abruptly. He rang the bell, which was over the counter, to call the cobbler. No signs of him, he rang it one more time. He waited a few more minutes and decided to leave the store. He tried to open the door, but it was locked. “Maybe it was because of the wind” he thought. Tried a few more times without success.
“How will I get out? Maybe there is an alternative exit at the rear of the store” he thought. He went there to find a way to get out, and maybe he could also find the cobbler. As he was walking through the alley behind the counter the light slowly started to fade. Suddenly it was so dark he couldn’t see a thing. He was trying to find the light switch when something bright started shining. He went to see what it was, and he found four pair of shoes shining like stars.
He was amazed, he has never seen something like it. He took one of the shoes to see it closer, they were common shoes, but the light that shine through them with no apparently reason made them special. After seeing it carefully, he started using it as a lantern. He searched all around the place for the cobbler and the exit door. There were none of them. He searched every corner of that room, but there where no way out.
He decided to sit down and wait. “Maybe the cobbler went out to do something and he forgot to close the door, probably he will return soon” he thought. He waited half an hour, one hour, the cobbler never came. He was tired, hungry, and bored as hell. Where could he be? The man wondered. He took one of the shining shoes and tried it on, it was his size. He tried the other one. He stood up, and in that moment a miracle happened.
To be continued… 🙂