When you think about it, that’s really great life advice. Before you make an assessment (judgment) about something, or someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
Not just put the shoe on. Not just look at the shoe on your foot or in the little shoe mirror, but actually take steps. Settle in, get the feel of it.
Most women will tell you that shoes that typically look the best on the display often pinch your toes when you get them on, are a test of balance (or grace) when you walk.
To start, think about shoes. We all wear them, it’s one of the things that separates us from the animals, right? Shoes bear all our weight, keep us steady, take us through our days. They are a companion that sees everything.
Interesting that this familiar saying specifies a distance. One mile.
To walk this distance takes time, more than a cursory lap around the store. Walk in those shoes for a good long while — a whole long, painful mile. Feel the effort of every step, get up close and personal with what’s inside another living soul.
A mile takes me about 17-18:00 minutes on the treadmill, though your mileage will vary, but it’s long enough to come to a full understanding about the circumstances and worries of the wearer of the shoes.
Seems to me there’s no more reliable way to understand the burdens another bears, the needs that go unmet, the worries that plague their mind. It’s more than enough time to get the full picture, and thus set aside whatever judgements you were about to make and cut that person in the tattered sneakers some slack.
Just this once.