Lesson on “Being in Someone Else’s Shoes”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 

Photo from Stateman Photoblog
 
 
 
In light of the Christmas Day terror plot, the White House has been stepping up their rhetoric and actions towards addressing the issue of terrorism. As all the news outlets have been covering the story, it has been quite an interesting display of déjà vu.

Without trying to make a political statement, I find it interesting that some of the steps and statements that were made by the former administration are pretty similar to what the current administration is trying to do. In fact, the use of the taboo word, “terrorism” is now being used more often by the current administration who have touted the importance of “change.”

I remember a few years ago, when there were a lot of criticisms to President Bush’s policies and the administration’s approach to the war have been scrutinized (confession: I have been guilty of making some of the remarks).

But now, some of the same critics are taking some of the same approach to the war in Afghanistan (troop surge), as well as in the fight with Al-Qaeda (offensively taking out their operatives). You can watch the video of President Obama making a pledge that the U.S. will “hold accountable” all of the individuals involved in the terrorist attack – click here.

My observation is simply this: “It is always easy to criticize someone when we have not walked in their shoes.”

Now that President Obama and his administration have the same information and intelligence briefing that President Bush had, maybe things will not look too differently after all.

This same principle applies to other areas in life as well. We can criticize a pastor or a leader in a church, but unless you have walked in their shoes, you might not fully know everything that is involved. It is the same way with walking in the shoes of a parent, a manager of a company, a teacher, and etc. Our perspective is so limited, but we criticize and talk as if we know everything. This is the kind of pride that causes us to say things like, “If I was in that person’s position, I would do things differently!”

But how do you know unless you have all the facts and information?

And sometimes we don’t have all the facts and information, until we are in that same position. But by that time, we come to the realization that we are doing the same things as our predecessor. Maybe walking in the other person’s shoes might help us in giving us greater love and understanding, as well as humility in our hearts.

May this principle be something that we follow after, as we try to love people who are difficult to love or people who have a different view than us.