Musings From A Musical Mind

Nike shoes.

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Last night I watched a program on the OWN channel that I had recorded from a few weeks ago.  It was a “trading places” show – only with a very underweight young woman and a very overweight woman – forced together under a doctor’s supervision to “exchange” eating plans for one week.

It was very interesting – and these two women learned much about each other during the process.  The underweight woman consuming about 4 times her usual calorie intake for one day – and the underweight on a near starvation diet of toast, tea and soup.

When the program began – the doctor explained that putting these two ladies together was actually going to help them both clearly see how they both regarded food in much the same way and had things in common because of that.  One avoided and denied – the other used food as a comfort and an “inside hug” – both clearly not healthy approaches to the “fuel” that the body needs to survive and function correctly.

I got to thinking about this as I was watching this program.  We have more in common with people who are different from us – than we even realize.  If we stop and walk around in their body for a while – it would amaze and even shock us!

What can I learn from you today?  What can I teach you?  Today I want to stop and consider before I think anything about you.  I want to allow myself to climb inside of you and walk around a little bit – and then hopefully – I too – will understand.

When was the last time you walked around in someone else’s shoes and really understood things from their point of view?  Did your perception of them change?  Were you amazed at the load they carried?

God Bless

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Comments on: "To Walk In Someone’s Shoes" (17)

  1. Cindy,

    I did something two days ago my mother told me I should never do (God rest her soul). I picked up a hitchhiker. He was on a country stretch of road I drive every day to work and I’ve never seen anyone out there. I drove right past him. 30 seconds later, God said, “Hey, Ray, go get him.” Dangit.

    I picked him up and we talked about Jesus. He was trying to start his life over and it was a good talk. I told him about my story and what a wretch I was. I listened to his story and how he was trying to make ends meet. Funny thing, I picked him up right next to the church where I fell.

    Right before I dropped him off he asked, “Why did you pick me up when all those other cars wouldn’t?”

    I said, “Because someday I might be where you are. I might need a ride. And I hope someone will pick me up.”

    • This is so good, Ray – are you including this in your book? If not – you should. Love stories like this – that take us out of our comfort zone and into someone’s real circumstances.

  2. It’s true that you never know another person truly until you walk that proverbial mile in their shoes. I believe you’re right on the money when you say we can learn a LOT from folks who are very different from us.

  3. Great perspective Cindy. When we truly understand people is when we are walking in their shoes. It’s not always possible, but it does add a level of “understanding” when faced with the same situations.

  4. A great reminder for all of us.

    Now I wanna see that show you mentioned…

  5. Scarlett said:

    I have lived with anorexia and bulimia for over 10 years, and having become active in the ED community throughout that time, I have close friends who deal with every type of eating disorder. I absolutely agree that compulsive overeating/binge eating disorder is far more similar to anorexia than most would assume; in fact, many anorectics rebound into overeating and actually become overweight.

    On a broader scale, you’re totally right that the human condition bears more similarities than differences, no matter what the specifics are. :)

    • Thanks so much for sharing this, Scarlett! You have a lot of courage and I applaud you! Yes – if people only had a healthier way of looking at food – like fuel – instead of comfort or the enemy – we would not struggle so much with weight in this country. We are all very similar, aren’t we?

  6. Wow…that was good for my heart to hear. As a therapist I am constantly praying for empathy and for God to allow me to see life through my clients eyes. It’s hard. In our busy self indulgent culture we can get pretty caught up in thinking everyone should be just like us. Thankfully we have a creative God who created us as individuals, unique and special. Thanks for this reminder Cindy – you nailed it.

    • Thanks Karen – so glad! We are all unique and it’s good to remember at the times we’re screaming for people to see and understand us, right?

  7. I often try to walk around in my wife’s shoes but I don’t look good in heels! Seriously though,
    trying to understand someone’s walk is key to understanding who they are. Thanks for the mind and spirit poke Cindy!

  8. Some years back, after being pretty much intolerant of anyone who believed or thought differently than me, God put it on my heart to look through the eyes of everyone, or to walk a mile in their shoes like your analogy.
    It’s actually pretty easy to understand how and why people do what they do. It usually is like you put quite well, we’re more alike than we are different. Most all of us react to life or difficult situations. That reaction to the action is what begins to shape us. My time seeking God is the only thing that allows me to see more clearly as you are. Not that I’ve got it dialed in, I just see it for what it is. It honestly can be a little frightening what we see, the more our eyes are opened.
    It really does come down to habits doesn’t it? The only habit I need to get more of is Him!

    • You’re right. It is frightening. That’s why we don’t do as often as we should. If I’m honest I don’t want to see another point of view much of the time – I’m afraid of something I will see. It’s silly, really – because the key to getting along with people is to understand them. When we get closer to Jesus our eyes are opened in a better way to our own flaws and to the greatness in others – and we are slower to judge. Great thoughts, Floyd – thanks :)

  9. I love this, Cindy! I have always been very empathetic. I have always been a kind of outsider, the new kid on the block, the one who had a different background, who didn’t see things like everyone else. I love to look at things from someone else’s perspective because I don’t always trust that I see things the way they really are. I even play devil’s advocate with myself! I often share this with my communication students. If we look at things from the other person’s point of view, we have a better chance of communicating effectively with them about ours.

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