Stranger Danger

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. 

A simple statement with all of the meanings. It has so much to say and it strikes me hard as I’m spending so much time in a metropolis. I see people all around me every day and I make snap decisions about them. 

I see someone who is a bum and I assume they choose to be there. 

The fast food worker and I assume he never went to college. 

I assume so much about all of these people yet I never take the time to ask them their story. To discover how they actually got to where they are. I never take the time to explore with them what their future could hold and what hope there is for them. I just keep on driving, ignoring, and assuming I have a reasonable estimation for who they are and how they got to where they are. I don’t spend time getting to know their story. Their story has value. They have value and I don’t take the time to know their story, only to know my guestimation about them.

I had value even though I was in a rough place. I might have never been a bum, but I have been emotionally broken. I have never worked at a fast food restaurant, but if I needed a job and they were hiring I would take the opportunity to pay my bills and fill my belly. I am not too different from these people I am making snap judgements of. I have potential. My potential and value has been called out. I am valued by people who love me who have taken the time to get to know me.

Who am I taking time to know and encourage? When do I stop and remind myself that these people I see have value, potential, and life experiences that have played into their life choices.

With Empathy,