Empathy Important Before Criticizing

“Don’t judge another until you’ve walked in their boots.”

Of course, the Indians had to walk a mile in another’s moccasins, and most folks have their sneakers on, but message is the same. Others are often criticized for doing something  that is different than the one making the comment thinks it should have been done.

Such remarks are common, but one made about aftermath of clearing a small timber has stayed with us.

A crew sawed the trees and pushed them into two piles, which we burned once, and then had the hired-labor come back to restack  again, for another bonfire.

But, there were still literally thousands of small limbs and wood scraps in the area that had been cleared. They needed to be hand-picked-up as well, before the area could be hayed without machinery damage.

It was a task we started with major dedication nearly a year ago, gathering hundreds of kindling regularly all winter long.

When haying time arrived, the mower-operator assumed the area was ready to be harvested. But, we quickly informed him: “There are still lots of sticks under that tall grass.”

The instant response was: “I thought you’d picked it all up.” Well, we had been gathering for months, and we’re still trudging the area. Last week, we found more than a dozen pieces of wood  that certainly would do considerable implement harm.

Had the hay man walked in our boots scouring the land, he would have known what outwardly seemed so simple was actually quite a consuming task.

It’s not unlike when one falls off a horse, and a person no-where-near wonders how the other could have been so clumsy. And, there are the times when a runaway-calf tears through fence into the pasture of a neighbor, who wonders  why’d we let the critter do that?

The business world is no different. It’s so easy to fix that car, build that house, write that story, sell that ad, and the list goes on and on, depending on the person and the situation. The one making the comment has not walked in those exact same boots.

Reminds us of Galatians 6:2: “One must first carry another’s burdens, and in this way you
will fulfill the law of Christ.” Likewise, Matthew 5:7: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”