Put yourself in their shoes

We have heard the phrase “put yourself in their shoes” several times but do we really understand what it means? In this age of selective advertising and targeted marketing, we are so used to reading what we want to read and hearing what we want to hear, that its absolutely rare for individuals to challenge their own mindset and even consider another angles of the story. It is not unknown that our beloved Facebook shows us posts and advertisements based on our “likes”. Of course, there are tons of benefits to the users due to this. But what happens when you read news that ONLY adheres to your way of thinking and keeps you in dark about what’s going on in other people’s minds?- Donald Trump becomes the President.

Man is biologically wired to prefer his kin and people in his close community as opposed to others in a society. Hence, racism, feminism and other isms. We are built in such a way that we automatically bond with those that share a commonality with us. This probably dates back to our Neanderthal ancestors who realized that living and hunting together meant more security. But in today’s world where information is at abundance, it is very easy to live in a selective bubble. We usually surround ourselves with people who think alike and callously indulge in mocking others who are not like us. It really requires effort to challenge one’s own point of view. This brings us to “perspective”.

Perspective is a point of view, it cannot be right or wrong. Its righteousness depends on the context.

Just being mindful of this fact can make a person wiser. Some of the geniuses on the face of earth- Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci were all dyslexic. I’m not saying that is the key ingredient to become one, but they thought differently than EVERYBODY else in their vicinity, which probably challenged their minds all the time and THAT is probably what pushed them into becoming geniuses.

Not all seven billion people are alike, but everyone thinks they are right. Being mindful of other cultures, situations, mindsets etc and gaining knowledge beyond our expected horizons not only makes a person wiser but also presents unlimited capacity to excel in strategy, risk management, relationship management and so much more! So, listen. Listen to those who think differently and maybe have a healthy debate. Knowledge is the most underrated power. Disregarding others just because they are different makes you a fool. Instead, listening to them may shine a light on some unopened door full of possibilities and opportunities. But more so, it creates a true sense of empathy within. And a world where people empathize with those unlike them is a better world to live in.

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