Understand People by Trying to Walk in their Shoes

by Ryan Biddulph

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Some believe I am:

  • lucky (nope)
  • fearless (definitely nope)
  • someone who has experienced an easy life (DEFINITELY NOPE)

because these human beings never tried to walk in my shoes. No person can walk in your shoes because every human being experiences life in intimate fashion. I may try to walk in your shoes to retrace your experiences but can never feel exactly how you felt during the moments.

But trying to walk in people's shoes creates a strong level of understanding. Understanding establishes connections. Connections cultivate compassion.

Observe me. I have blogged since 2008. I have circled the globe since 2011. I have lived a fun, freeing life. But I also faced many deep, pulsating fears many humans never choose to face because most people design life to be experienced completely inside of their comfort zone.

Any person who lives firmly inside of their comfort zone cannot understand me, how I live and how I tick because these individuals have not tried to walk in my shoes, me being a guy who chose to live life well outside of his comfort zone. But attempting to walk in my shoes creates a connection, bond and strong understanding between us.

For example, I almost died during my trip to India because I basically did not eat or drink for 10 days and had to be carried to the emergency room with severe dehydration.

Put yourself in my shoes. At least try to put yourself in my shoes. How does it feel to go 12 hours without water? How does it feel to miss one meal? Now imagine me taking 1-2 tiny sips of water per day for 3 days prior going to the emergency room because I would have vomited up any more. Imagine me barely eating a darn thing for 10 days? Attempt to feel my exquisite suffering during this brutally agonizing experience, for a few moments.

Here I am AFTER gaining 5-10 pounds:

Imagine me being carried to the tuk tuk as if I were a rag doll, too weak to move after vomiting precious fluids, taking me dangerously close to the other side.

I bet ya this; you understand me, my mindset, my style, my energy, and my willingness to leave my comfort zone a little bit more. Why? You did your best job putting yourself in my shoes.

Now you see the world more through my eyes. Now we bond more deeply. Perhaps you have greater compassion for me. From there, now you understand why I possess my drive, my compassion, my empathy, my willingness to serve and most of all, why news headlines and politics have just about zero power over me.

I've faced down a spitting cobra in Bali. What news headline will scare you after you sit in a cage with three, 400 pound tigers in Thailand, like I have? Why would I fear being mocked after sharing my Sasquatch encounter? I have faced death during a 6 week stay in a remote jungle in Costa Rica, 3 hours away from humanity. I had to swim through crocodile and venomous snake infested waters during a monsoon to free up our water supply to survive. This has been my life; not an Indiana Jones style spinoff.

Making attempts to walk in people's shoes makes life quite easy because you avoid all problems and flat out nightmares consistent with being disconnected. I picture myself raising a family to try to put myself in a mom's or dad's shoes. I also have a somewhat similar experience of being highly involved in raising my niece as my wife and I had plenty of practice caring for her, from years of overnight stays, changing diapers, feeding her and caring for her. I am not a parent but have compassion for their struggles because I have felt their experiences the best I can, through my mind.

Put yourself in my shoes to piece together my puzzle. I will put myself in your shoes to piece together your puzzle. Understanding builds bridges in a sometimes disconnected world. Compassion, empathy and loving-kindness thrive in a world of understanding.

More people seem to understand I am not a cyborg, robot, or a lucky, gifted, talented savant. I am a human being with feelings who has grown exponentially by suffering, facing death head on, and feeling my deepest fears in brutal, terrifying experiences, as I have followed my passion, had oodles of fun and freed myself from the shackles of comfortable but miserable, depressive living.

Who knows?

Maybe you'll become the next traveling, pro blogger after understanding why I am how I am by walking in my shoes.

About the Author 

Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph helps you learn how to blog at Blogging From Paradise.

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