The Importance of Putting Yourself In Other People’s Shoes


Colleen Starkey

Everyone has shoes. Put yourself in the shoes of other people everyday.

Many people judge others before they know the whole story. It is important to put oneself in other people’s shoes because it can help one to better understand everything, and it may shed some light on what actually happened. If someone is not trying to put himself in someone else’s circumstances and if someone is not trying to learn the whole story, they cannot comprehend that person’s reasoning. I learned this lesson the hard way, and I want to share my story.

Last year, I sat by a  sophomore in one of my technology classes. We got to know each other and became friends. Near the end of the school year, he told me he was going to be the starting quarterback for the football team the next year. I was happy for him, and excited for the school year to start so I could watch him play. When it did we didn’t have any classes together. However, on the first game day of the school year, I saw him in the hallway and said hello to him. He replied, and I thought everything was going to be fine, that we would still be friends despite the fact that we hardly ever got to see each other. I was still excited to watch him play that night. I am in the band, so even though it was an away game, I still got to attend. The game began, and the opposing team had the ball. I saw him on the field playing defense, but I didn’t really think anything of it because I know it is common for football players to play on both offense and defense. Later, when Lindale had the ball, he was on the bench. In fact, he never played on offense for the entire game. It made me furious because I thought he had lied to me. I had trusted him, but after that game, my trust was completely gone. On the Sunday after it, I went to church, where one of his coaches also attends. He explained to me that at the end of the previous school year, my friend actually was the starting quarterback. During the summer, however, the newly hired athletic director had moved him to defense. I was relieved that he had been telling the truth, and I felt guilty that I had judged him before I knew the whole story. I feel that knowing the whole story has made me realize just how important it is to put myself in other people’s shoes. If I had done that from the beginning, before I judged him, I think everything would have been smoother from the start.