“First of all,” he [Atticus] 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.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie – and the book. And sums up how much better we would get along with people if we would first take the time to see things from their point of view – instead of just looking at them through our very limited lens of understanding.
I watched the original version of ‘Freaky Friday’ last night with Jodi Foster – and although it is a silly movie – the point is made quite clearly: If we walked around in another person’s body and could see things from their point of view – how differently we would see them!
In this film a mother and daughter change places only to find a unique perspective on what is going on in their world everyday – and what seems to be easy to the other person – turns out to be difficult. How many times do we wish we could change places with someone so that they could see how hard – or how complicated our life is! Or for them to understand us better. I have often wished I could understand them better too and have wished to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in certain homes – so I could watch the ‘drama’ unfold – as I know it does. Many have wanted to do this in my home as well, I’m sure. It’s human nature. It’s difficult to identify with what we cannot understand.
Think about it – if we all were granted this wish – to walk around and be somebody else for a day – who would it be? And who would you want to walk around in your skin for a day and be you?
If we could apply this simple principle into our lives everyday – to stop and consider – the next time someone says something unkind or uncalled for – or the next time someone acts irrationally – or hurts you, remember this: consider what it is like to be them. Walk around inside their skin and look through their eyes. You may just see things you didn’t see before. And you may gain some perspective and understanding for things you didn’t have before. You see if we really did this – If I really did this – there would be no room in my heart for blame and bitterness. I would no longer have to hold you at an arm’s length because of fear of the unknown. I would know. And I would love and embrace the scared lonely child in you. And if you did the same in my skin – so would you.
I am praying this prayer today for you. That you would see people how God sees them. Understanding them on a heart level – with no agenda and no angle. Just pure love. Take a little walk inside of them today.
- Great Characters: Atticus Finch (gointothestory.com)
- My legal hero: Atticus Finch (guardian.co.uk)
- 51 reviews of To Kill a Mockingbird (rateitall.com)
- Learn from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)