I often marvel at the plethora of living stories that walk past me in the street. As a natural observer of human activity, I wonder where they’re from, their home life, their interests, their joys, and troubles. I am but a drop in the ocean in this sea of humanity.
Most days I’m alright at being empathetic. Some days I’m too focussed on the tasks I need to complete that I may walk straight past a friendly face who only needed a smile to pick their day up.
I think the most challenging people to empathise with are those who disagree with us or dislike us. Regardless, it’s worthwhile to try to see their perspective. What could be causing them to feel or think this way? What are their values? This exercise goes a long way in creating positive relationships even with difficult personalities. Everyone has a burden to bear, and some get more than their fair share.
I challenge myself, and you, to walk a day in someone else’s shoes. You can be as creative as you wish but I strongly suggest no stalking! Haha. The objective is to pause and notice; to increase our awareness of others and develop empathy. We need empathy more than ever in these uncertain times.
Someone else’s shoes may be a size too small or too big, they may cause you discomfort but attempt to walk at least a few steps. You may be amazed what you discover.
I spent the first week back at school and met my new Year 10 Tutor Group class. My students and I created our first class display together and it brought me joy to see how welcoming they were to one another. My class is rich in cultural diversity, and I’m excited to learn about who they and what they are capable of. Here is our team effort which I hope will begin to instill empathy in my students: