4 years ago1,000+ Views
Empathy is important. Weather it is in interpersonal relations, when deciding about a marketing strategy or in so many other situations, it is always crucial to be able to put yourself in "the shoes of someone else", as the saying goes. But is it at all possible? Even the saying itself reveals the problem - Walking in someone else's shoes will not make us feel like he or she does, as our feet are different than theirs! Well perhaps, empathy is not really about trying to be someone else but rather about finding something else within oneself? In his book, "A theory of justice", the American philosopher John Rawls, suggested a thought provoking definition of a just society. A just society, Rawls suggested, is one that its rules were set by people who could not predetermine their social status in the society they were forming. It is quite easy to understand why this is such a great definition, as it is clear that any legislative body will be very careful to avoid all kinds of discriminations, if its members are very much aware of the fact that they may find themselves in the inferior side. Furthermore, this idea can be implemented on any scale, and perhaps it is most fit that we will start implementing it from the most basic kind of human relationships So drawing from that, perhaps the best way to "get into someone else's shoes", is to think what it would be like if we wake up in the morning and find that we are they. Doing so will allow us to zoom out from our own selfish perspective to the perspective of how our decisions and actions affect someone else, so that we can better appreciate both ourselves and others. This could be the first step in a bottom-up social change.
Great points, @orenshani7.We know that this feat of changing the ways people think of one another is not easy, but it takes small steps to create big chance.
This is one of the most difficult things to do. How can you get out of your own pain, struggles, and perspectives in order to understand the opposing views? That is nearly impossible when you are hurting... But you are absolutely right. We need to do it!