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A Mile in Gifted Shoes

I’m wearing someone elses shoes today.  Literally.

The benefit to being one of only three people in my company with sized 10 feet, is getting new shoes that for whatever reason didn’t fit the other two (or would it technically be four?) sized 10 feet.


I’ve never been a shoe girl.

I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes or shiny things either.

I have to admit it’s been a treat having a choice of footwear.

I was thinking and taking my thoughts on a tangent walk (as I tend to do) about ‘walking in someone elses shoes’.

That old saying “Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” – I really try to live that way.

(Of course, the researcher that I am, I had to find out where that quote came from, and it wasn’t easy!  Rumor has it the original quote was Native American and more like: ‘Do not judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.’)

Well, moccasins, shoes, boots, slippers – no matter.  I truly try to remind myself that I do not know why someone behaves, acts or thinks the way that they do.

I also find myself imagining the worst case scenario for them.

As if they need a really, really good reason for their poor choices or actions.

From the simple, ‘perhaps they’re late to work’ when someone cuts me off on the road, to ‘perhaps they were not loved’ when someone treats others cruelly.

I wonder though, at what point is a person simply responsible for changing their faults, big or small, and not get to excuse them with their past?

At some point, doesn’t somebody have the right to tell another, “your behavior is unacceptable and you need to decide to change it.”

Perhaps not.

(I hope it’s obvious I’m not referring to criminal behavior or a child that needs correcting.)

Perhaps the closest we get is telling someone, “Your behavior is unacceptable and I am no longer going to be subjected to it.”

It’s none of my business how others live their lives –  but it is completely my business and my responsibility to decide what I am willing to allow in my life.

I have a hard time with that.

I have some toxic relationships that I should sever, but for many reasons, I have not.

Is this where I get to play the ‘don’t judge my decision until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes’ card?

Or is this the moment when I realize my cowardice is unacceptable and I have to make a change?

Maybe I’ll feel braver when one of my fellow tall, big footed friends passes on a pair of steel toed boots to me.

Until then – I’ll tread lightly.