Walking in the Other Man's Shoes

Walking in the Other Man's Shoes

Our North American indians had a great spiritual insight. We forget this when we think of them only as blood-thirsty savages, always ready to go on war parties. I'm glad to see the movies and television programs picturing the Indians more like the white men—just people, some good, some bad, and some in between.

One great Indian saying was this: "Let me not judge my brother until I have walked for two moons in his shoes." Maybe they said moccasins instead of shoes, but it means the same.

Walking in the other fellow's shoes means trying to put yourself in his place. Often we condemn or talk about others in a harsh way. Later, we find out we're all wrong. Then it's too late to recall the words and the damage they have done.

We can never really know what other people are like inside. I once knew a boy we all regarded as a horrible "pill," if you know what I mean. What a character! Later my own parents explained that he was badly treated at home. After that I had more sympathy for him. In my own mind, I walked in his shoes, as the Indians suggested.

Perhaps you know some boy or girl who's afraid. Afraid to play, afraid to speak up in class, afraid of other children. Try to imagine what it's like to be afraid of everything. Then give that boy or girl lots of encouragement and friendship.

In your mind, walk in their shoes. You'll never be sorry if you do.

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