When I was in grade five and in the school choir, I learned a song called “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” written by Joe South in 1968. To be honest, I had no idea who wrote it or who originally sung it until I googled it, but there you go.
While in the shower this morning, out if nowhere, the song just came into my head. Now I get downloads into my head while in the shower all the time, a lot of folks find the relaxation of warm water flowing over their bodies a perfect time to problem solve or just release pent up stress and anxiety, but often when you allow yourself to become relaxed in such a way, you also open yourself to divine inspirations that just pops in from out of thin air as well.
So as I was quandering over the significance of this song and what message it was sending me, I downloaded the lyrics and began to understand the wisdom being offered to me.
Before you abuse, criticize, and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.
Lyrics from Walk A Mile In My Shoes
I guarantee you that if you scroll down your Facebook or Twitter feed it won’t take you very long before you come across some post criticizing a leader, a situation or a person who was unlucky enough to piss off someone else who felt that their personal liberties have been violated in some way and in turn, has the right to complain to the world. Perhaps it was even you who uploaded the post. I know I have ranted on social media in the past. I will admit it, so there’s no need to throw shade my way, I’m as guilty as the next person.
I have seen perfectly compassionate people drawn into the dark swill of hate currently coating our world right now with out even realizing the collective hurt they are contributing to. Yet if asked why they participated in this negative mentality, the answer will always be from an ignorant perception, and by ignorant I mean, not knowing, uninformed and unconscious. It’s very much a mob mentality. We allow ourselves to be drawn along by a current that if we took a moment, and thought about what the repercussions of what we are participating in could be, we probably would not participate.
That’s why walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is a great lesson to apply before you lash out with words and comments that leaves scars on your soul as much as contributing to the animosity, hostility and mistrust running rampant in our world.
So before you judge, try to understand. You don’t know what experiences have lead another to the place they’re at right now.
Apply compassion. Circumstances turn on a dime. Tomorrow it may be you in the same place they’re at today.
Trust that given the chance and with the correct information, the vast majority of folks will do the right thing.
Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. This is the only way we can fine balance once again in society.
Don’t engage those who abuse, criticize and accuse. It only serves to antagonize and fuel the situation.
Know the difference between standing up for what you believe in and attacking those who appose your beliefs. Respect the rights of others to have their own opinions and beliefs as well.
But most of all, when you endeavor to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, what you are really doing is seeing them with your heart and not your ego. Your heart is the place of love, understanding and compassion. Your ego is about self preservation, fear and separation. We are now seeing what a ego driven world looks like, would it be so bad to try living from the heart instead?
What I find most ironic about the world that we live in right now is that everyone, every group, every special interest, is crying out to be see and heard, but what they are really saying is – walk a mile in my shoes – yet we’re all so busy trying to get our own message out there that we are missing the fact that others need to be heard and seen as well.
Who knew that a song written over 50 years ago could carry a message so timely for what’s going on in the world today but that’s the thing, messages that carry truth and wisdom are timeless.
Why did this song popped into my head? I’ll never know. But if it causes you to look it up and read the lyrics or listen to it on YouTube and maybe consider it’s message like I did, than perhaps that is reason enough.