Sunday, February 3, 2013

lessons from Atticus

 Atticus stood up and walked to the end of the porch. When he completed his examination of the wisteria vine he strolled back to me.
"First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-"
"-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
"To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
I'm sort of realizing that it's really easy to assume that you're in the right when you can't see what's going through the other person's head. It's so easy to assume that you know easy to forget, sometimes, that other people have a unique point of view and opinions and are coming from a completely different life and experience than hard to step back and try to imagine things from their perspective.
But so crazy-enlightening when you do.

I had one of those moments not too long ago - when you're tired and someone makes a (small and insignificant, but insensitive) comment, you just want to get angry. And I was. And then, for some reason (I don't even remember why) I took a step back and tried to imagine myself inside someone else's skin...stepped inside their shoes and wiggled my toes for a few minutes.
It was alien and uncomfortable, but things looked completely different from the outside in. I wasn't so angry anymore.
And I thought instantly of Atticus.

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