I saw an old lady today. She had sat herself on the edge of the pavement and looked out of breath. The wrinkles on her face made her look constantly worried and even angry. She looked worn out. Maybe it was this moment only, maybe it was the story of her life.
Somehow you don't see a young person very often who'd be worn out. Most of the young people look happy, excited and motivated. Seems that this juice of life gets lost somewhere along the way. They suddenly lose it - just keep existing and not living anymore.
Looking at that woman I started to wonder what had happened to her. But how could I know? I've never walked in her shoes, I don't know what happened to her that she became hopeless and a little bitter.
An experiment: Experiencing the world how as the old woman
Then I tried something else. I imagined that I'm suddenly inside of her body. I feel what she feels. I see what she sees. I hear what she hears. I feel the pain in her back, the dryness of her skin, the wind on her face. I see the cars driving in front of her eyes and splashing dirty water on her clothes.
And I start thinking different thoughts. About the world. About myself. About life.
Then I switched from her to the middle aged woman who was limping. I imagined how it would feel like to walk so slowly. How would the world look and feel different? What would I think about myself? What would I plan for the future? How would I experience the world?
And suddenly I felt such a deep empathy, such inspiration from all these people living their lives and having their everyday experiences. So different from me. No judgement. Just understanding. Just empathy.
Whenever I feel disconnected from other people, judgmental, misunderstood or confused I can always try the world from their own skin. Such a deep understanding and new perspective becomes available.