In a letter addressed to apathy
A major flaw of the human condition is the golden rule. It gives people a mindset that we are not only all the same, but come from equal backgrounds and opportunities. It isn’t enough to treat others how you would like to be treated. Mainly because some people do not settle for the same socio-norms that you yourself might settle for, but additionally because most of us think we are better than we actually are. We would like to believe that we always take the moral high ground, that we would never be in the other person’s shoes, and that we would know how to be more accepting if we were.
On the subject of other people’s shoes, I am not entirely convinced that walking in someone else’s may prompt as much empathy as this world needs. I propose that in lieu of taking a walk in someone else’s shoes to try and relate to their emotional journey, there is a better more accurate way to incite an empathetic reaction. Think about the person you care for most in the world (if you have children, they work perfectly for this exercise), and place them in the other person’s shoes. Now tie your hands behind your back and watch from afar as they stumble.
How do you want to help them?
How could you have done better?