Posted by: David D. Daggett | November 9, 2009

Someone Else’s Shoes

Someone Else’s Shoes

       How often do we walk in someone else’s shoes? Perhaps we should try it a little more often, and learn a little something along the way. Let’s take a further look at this concept.

The concept of walking in someone else’s shoes is not new. I was reminded during this past week when our daughter’s reading assignment included a book that referenced the Cheyenne Native American proverb “Don’t judge your neighbor until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.” This takes commitment since two moons refers to two lunar cycles which is approximately 59 days.

Walking in others’ shoes gives us a better understanding of other people. That is why people who do charitable work, public service, and service for others tend to have a better understanding of those around them. Research shows that people who serve others – walk in their shoes – reap the bonus of more fulfilling and satisfying lives.

Spending time in others’ shoes gives us perspective. Perspective is the ability to see things from other points of view. It can help us at work ( the professional anchor), with our spouses and kids ( the family anchor), in our faith ( the spiritual anchor), and probably as athletes too (the physical anchor).

As athletes we probably don’t spend as much time in someone else’s shoes as we ought. We tend to be extremely focused on our own training, our own schedule, and our own results. Of course we have to train, but if we also weave in time to walk in the shoes of others we can become better people in the process.

Cindy and I walked in each other’s shoe a couple of weeks ago when she ran her very first race. She was the athlete and I was the support crew. Including training it was approximately “two moons.” It was quite a switch in roles and we both did fairly well. Perhaps a bit surprisingly we really enjoyed the opportunity to switch roles and we plan to do more of it – literally and metaphorically – in other aspects of our lives. Certainly our mutual respect was essential in the success of this reversal.

Walking in the shoes of others gives us a better perspective and understanding of other points view. Moreover, it is the good and right thing to do. Our development as individuals will certainly prosper when we try walking in someone else’s shoes.

Trying different shoes,

David

***Ironman Everyday Hero Article and T.V. Excerpt Video are now up***

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