We often hear the importance of trying to step into the shoes of someone else. This is often conducted in the form of “perspective taking” exercises in which one plays through similar experiences as another person, trying to ‘feel’ what it is like to be the other person.
There is great value in such exercises, as they help cultivate empathy for our fellow human beings. However, at a certain stage, we run into a wall. This wall is caused simply from the limitation that, as a human being, we ultimately cannot truly look at, or create, a universe through a different lens than our own.
So what can we do? The best thing we can do is humble ourselves, take a step back, and simply make room for the ‘other’ to express his or her perspective. Whether we’re able to empathize with this other perspective or not ultimately isn’t as important as allowing it to express itself fully, ensuring that it thrives strongly enough to manifest clearly. This way, such perspective can continue to inform, reflect on, and enlighten us, and the world, over time, whether we are or aren’t able to completely understand where it’s coming from or not.