I was talking to Gwen and she expressed concerns about what life will be like after college. Will she be able to find a job and make enough money to become self-sufficient?
I told her, “Of course you will.” Then I went on my merry way.
A few days later, I got to thinking about that conversation and how I dismissed her concerns. I remember having those same fears at her age. It seems like a distant memory now, but at the time it was real and stressful.
I realized I owe Gwen an apology for not paying attention to what she was saying. Instead of dismissing her concerns, I should have told Gwen I understand what she is feeling and it is normal. I should have been more empathetic and reassuring. I should have reminded her that I am here to help in anyway I can.
It’s easy to judge others. It’s harder to put ourselves in their shoes, view the world as they see it, and offer forgiveness. However, there will come a time when we are the one’s in need of forgiveness. We all do things of which we are not proud. We all feel pain and emotional distress. We all bleed red.
The Golden Rule is found in Matthew 7:12-14, and it teaches us to treat others as we would want them to treat us.
This requires empathy on our part. We must take the time to understand how the other person feels and to see the situation from their prospective. Then we will be able to treat them in the same way we would want to be treated.
The other day, I realized I was failing to communicate with Gwen. It was my own fault. I forgot to place myself in her shoes. I forgot how I felt when I was about to graduate high school and go out into the real world. I forgot how scary it can be.
I decided I needed to smack myself in the head. I have a PhD in communication, yet I failed to utilize my own knowledge and skills.
Sometimes I wonder about myself…