We’ve all heard it in some way or another: “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” or “If only you could walk in my shoes then you would know just how strong I really am”. While the message is clear, I’m not quite sure about the delivery method. This is how I see it to be.
We were all given paths in and a pair of shoes in which to walk it. In the beginning of any path and pair of shoes, you are going to experience bumps and trips and knocks and bruises because you’re not only unfamiliar with the path, but also the shoes. They have to be broken in, and there’s a lot of pain that is associated with that. But the thing is, those are your shoes. They were meant for you and are your size. You are the person that has to learn to wear them so that you can learn to walk the path, which has it’s own bumps, puddles, twists and turns of its own. So, by telling someone to walk a mile in your shoes would actually be giving them more heartache and pain than you would have had to bear. Not only would they have to face the terrain of the path, but maybe a shoe that’s too big, causing constant trips and falls that you otherwise would have been able to balance yourself through. Or maybe the shoe is too small, causing blisters and excruciating pain with each step well beyond anything you would have endured.
Same for you. You can’t switch shoes with someone else because they may seem to have a smooth path and great shoes because they aren’t meant for you. They won’t fit you. You may not be able to wear their shoes as well or they may be accustom to their path where as you wouldn’t know what to look out for.
So be careful when using those words. You change the person wearing the shoes and walking the path, then you change the whole scenario, and the lesson intended will never be learned. Instead, work on mastering your own path so that others can see your courage and determination, and encourage those who have tripped along their way on theirs.