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Other People's Shoes

Sometimes it's hard to remember that not everyone has had the same life experiences I have had. When my life is the only one I've lived, it's easy to live within that bubble until someone reminds me that their experiences have been much different.


A friend at work mentioned that he couldn't decide whether he hated his mother-in-law more.


Having had a positive relationship with both my mom and mother-in-law, this statement seemed so foreign to me.


My friend went on to say that he hadn't spoken to his mom in twenty years and that she was, in his words, "an a**hole."


I can't imagine feeling that way about either of my parents or going that long without willingly speaking to them.


And yet, I have had friends and acquaintances who have less-than-desirable and even toxic relationships with one or both of their parents, so my friend's feelings toward his own mom shouldn't have necessarily surprised me.


But it did.


But it's a good reminder. I sometimes take for granted the fact because my relationship with my parents and family, really, has been a good one that everyone feels that way. And it's not true, of course.


I think it's valuable to try and put ourselves in other people's shoes if we can. Not everyone will vote as I do or believe as I do or have the same attitudes about various things as I do. All of our lives and situations are unique to us, and maybe when we're tempted to judge someone else's attitudes, beliefs, or decisions, it would serve me well, at least, to remember that we're all coming from different places and life experiences.

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