What does it mean to see the world through someone else’s eyes? To walk a mile, two, or ten in another’s shoes?
This has been a frequent topic of conversation lately, and rightly so. The world is incredibly divided and we can all benefit from taking a minute to reflect on what it means to see the world through another’s eyes.
I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine yesterday where we talked about a certain personal situation that came up. It was about a message I received on Instagram. I couldn’t understand why someone would do or say the things that they did, and I shared this story with her.
Her response couldn’t have been more perfectly stated, and important for me to hear:
“I have a complex with this situation. We are all going through something right now, and we have no idea what someone else’s story might look like. Maybe it was this person’s way of healing or what they needed to do right now in the moment that was best for them. We don’t know, and we shouldn’t judge how someone needs to cope, even if it doesn’t look like how we would.”
She couldn’t have been more right. I needed to take a step back and see that what I was doing was the opposite of what I preach. I was talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I needed to look through the lens of someone else to see how they might have been feeling in that situation.
This is incredibly applicable to so many things right now in the world.
Since the absolutely tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman in his hidden battle with colon cancer, people have been sharing a message that we all need to hear:
People didn’t know what he was going through. They trolled him on the internet calling him names and shouting negative comments from behind their screens.
We don’t know what someone is experiencing in their lives, and thanks to my friend I was reminded that I needed to be put in check. It’s a lesson learned, not a failure.
Because for the longest time, I was the person that people ridiculed without them knowing what was going on. I was the one that people said hurtful things about my weight loss or felt the need to chime in based solely off of what they saw, rather than what the truth was. I never want to find myself doing that again, but I also have to remember I am human. And having a reminder every once in a while can be helpful.
It’s time to see the world through another’s eyes. Take some time today to reflect on a situation where you may have criticized or didn’t give someone an opportunity before you passed judgement. Again, it’s not a failure, it is a lesson learned.