Walking in another person's shoes - What a gift!

authenticity inclusivity Apr 18, 2022

This was one of my favorite interviews that we have done to date. I loved it not only for Billy’s energy and fun story, but I loved how thought provoking his “why” for doing what he does is. That is to see a situation or life choice from a different perspective, to be able to set aside your own biases and walk a day in another’s shoes - what a gift! 

I think we often look at other situations and are quick to assign a good or a bad label to it. I think, for the majority of us, the “good” is reserved for what we understand or situations that align closely with what we aspire to be and the “bad” is doled out for things we don’t understand or make us uncomfortable. When we assign these labels to people and their lifestyle choices, we are limiting our ability to broaden our horizon, increase our level of acceptance and understanding, and increase our knowledge of the world around us. Which, by the way, is ever changing, and acceptance and understanding are crucial to navigating the shifting landscape. 

I spoke in the podcast about my time spent with a Muslim family and learning the reasoning and personal choice that is surrounding whether or not to hijab in their culture, and it was truly eye opening. It allowed me to really examine my biases and preconceived notions surrounding the culture and take a hard look at why I assumed what I had assumed. Was it because someone told me differently? No. It was purely because it was outside of my normal and because of that I put a “bad” label on it and assumed that those who were wearing the hijab assigned the same label as I did. Boy was I wrong…and I love that. 

I take this experience with me when I am faced with other cultures or lifestyle choices that I don’t understand or that may make me uncomfortable. It allows me to withhold my “good” or “bad” label because it is not my normal. It forces me to be more objective and curious (which I think is SO important in this life) when approached with something different because I can recall a time when I was so incorrect in my thinking. That is the power, I think, of taking an unbiased approach…to finding out you were wrong…to the reexamining of what you thought was “right,” it allows you to grow and learn and accept people and cultures that would have been, at one time, outside of your biases bubble. 

Cheers to getting outside of ourselves!



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