Walking In Our Own Shoes

There is no difference between us and our neighbor, sister, father, friend. We are all flesh and bones, walking to an end.

It is easy to look at the life of the person next to us and formulate ideas on where and how they went wrong or right, not thinking for one minute, they are doing the same with us!

We may look at the house help and figure that s/he has no ambition, can only aspire to service as many houses as possible. S/he may be looking at us thinking how empty and argumentative our lives are, how blessed s/he is that her/his kids are respectful and motivated.

Few people are truly grateful for what they have. There is always something else and someone else, always something and someone preventing full joy. If only we realized that it is only us and our imaginings. How can one have a beautiful home, family and career, and still find him/herself indulging in destructive vices? What else is there to want? There is always something and someone else that we want.

We are not programmed to be content, the world demands that we are always seeking for something/one. We could have the love of our life standing patiently before us, but we are programmed to look for someone else, who by care of not loving us the same, sends us on a spiraling goose chase with limited gratification and endless suffering. We may have the perfect job and still spend endless hours looking for something else, which demands lifestyle changes that make little to no sense, however provide an excuse to further look again.

Few people walk out on their own paths without looking around. Looking around means we have no knowledge of our own paths and little of the ones we observe from our space. We can only make statements based on our realities, experiences, envisioning, how can we suppose our neighbor sees the same? 

We walk and talk yet in a marathon the walker/runner’s mouth is shut if not open for air. They seem to win and/or complete their race, do we wonder why we get lost on ours? We are too busy walking and talking, more talking than walking, so that somewhere along the way we believe our own imaginings and start to draw and follow our own path to a finite end. While looking at other paths from where we stand we assume eagle view yet are no greater than a snake.

Well wishes too, are a double edged sword. We cannot pretend to know what is well for another’s soul if we do not know that soul, but only what we would like to know. A person may want to hear a kind word today, as opposed to a path s/he should take. S/he is already battling inner demons, did not need another voice to add to the opposition. A kind word may be the encouragement and strength needed to step out of a head full of worry and woe.

We mean well when we say what we say, however, we may not know that we only say what we were taught to say. We repeat what we heard when we were young and over the years, forget how it may have first hurt and defensively turned it into wise counsel of the years.

Why not speak of the things we ignored and now and how we see, personal failings, things we are ashamed of. Why not provide these as lesson, then leave it to the other, for we do not walk his/her path. We may mean well when we do what we do, however, we may not realize how our seemingly selfless ways are selfish highways, restrictive and ripening with age. We can only always watch what we do and say. More than words, actions dictate.

Respect is earned not forced. We will not say bought for we would like to believe we do not “sink low enough to buy”, as we judge those around us that we believe do. We do not realize that we force others to respect us when if they had a choice, the answer may not be that they actually do.

We force them by the things we hold over their heads, the sacrifices we have made, the goals and dreams spent, that all we want in return is respect. what then do we expect? Of course it will be given but not freely as a gift, more like a debt repaid.

Is there no greater reward than seeing your charge become someone great unto him/herself, more so than someone great unto thee? That you vocally decided what one should think and do is lesson enough that your respect is not earned, it is debt repaid.

More than anything, let us strive for our personal best. It is only in doing this that we learn God’s lessons.

We learn to be humble, to see each other for our humanity, not our cultural, societal and religious standing. God loves us all equally, He has no favorite and best. We are all favored, we are all recipients of His Divine Grace. He has a plan for all of us. All our steps are ordered. Whether we believe in God or not, He loves us all the same.

We learn to be kind, to say things that will uplift and encourage growth. God is always kind to us. We interpret His message as we do, it has nothing to do with what He said. It is in promoting kindness that defense mechanisms are shaved and walls broken down. It is in kindness that we learn that we are worthy of the best, and want the personal best for those around us.

We learn to be ourselves, to be human, to make mistakes, to make progress, to set goals, to achieve goals, to laugh, to cry, to hope, to pray. God did not create us to compete with Him. Only He knows our paths and destinies, so that an “I don’t know” is okay, so that an “I made a mistake” is acceptable, so that an “I am afraid” is alright.

We can be human, we can try, we can fail. It is in all these things that we are specially made. We are made this way so that we may see how He steps in to make the imperfect perfect, the weak strong, the dreamer a reality.

It is in these things that we learn and grow into our selves, as we were created and not socially formed. It is in these things that we can support each other’s walk, understanding that we all have our own paths to take.

In learning and bringing out our personal best, can we then hope to enlighten, inspire and bring out others’ personal best. It starts with God and us. The rest falls into place.
Walking In Our Own Shoes

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