A Mile in Someone Else’s Moccasins

09 Jan





An old Native American saying “Do not criticize your brother until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”

I have always liked that saying because it helped me to look at all sides of an issue before making a judgement. I’m not perfect at it but I do try to listen to arguments first.

I was never in debate in school and I had to pull out my yearbook to find out if we had a debate team. However, the rules of debate, as I have heard them, is you must prepare arguments for either side because you do not know ahead of time which side you will represent. It would force you to fully understand your opponent’s position before the debate began. What a novel concept! Let’s come back to that idea.

The last two years have been rather challenging for me. There have been many family issues, sale and purchasing of homes, packing, moving and unpacking, liquidating a family members material estate, etc. Because my mind has been tied up with more important issues, I have not posted much on social media. I have scrolled through Facebook on occasion to check up on friends but have not done much in the way of comments. But, frankly, what I have seen on social and conventional media of late makes me wonder if I really want to participate at all.

Individuals choosing to polarize themselves away from long-time relationships because of differing opinions when it is fairly obvious the opposing position is not fully understood. Nor does it appear there is any desire to understand the opposing position. Great wars have been waged and millions of people killed because two individuals were unwilling to openly look at each other’s position.

The next time you find yourself getting angry at a stranger/friend/family member, stop and take a step back and ask why.

Why am I getting angry?

Why is this person acting this way? Don’t immediately answer, “Because he/she is a narcissistic SOB.” If you can, ask them why to their face. You don’t know this person as well as you may think you do. You may not know that they are having the worst day of their lives. Maybe they just found out their child was arrested or their spouse was cheating on them. Bottom line…YOU don’t know!!!

If your response is “I don’t care!” then you’ve found the problem. It’s you!


Posted by on January 9, 2019 in Other Strangeness


6 responses to “A Mile in Someone Else’s Moccasins

  1. Mick Canning

    January 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

    It’s a good saying. Of course, once you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins you can criticize them all you like – they’re a mile away from you and you’ve got their moccasins!

    • Dennis Langley

      January 10, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      Ha ha. A very good point, unless they grabbed yours when you weren’t looking and then followed you.

      • Mick Canning

        January 10, 2019 at 12:56 pm

        Darn, never thought of that!

  2. Eddie Two Hawks

    January 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Excellent reminder of the most common problem behind social difficulties

  3. Kate Johnston

    January 13, 2019 at 7:39 am

    My son and daughter engaged in a friendly debate just the other night over whether or not cheerleading is considered a sport. The topic came up due to a survey some girls from the school’s cheerleading squad passed around. Unsurprisingly, boys unanimously said “No” whereas girls were split. I didn’t know that the rules of a true debate state you have to research both sides because you don’t know which side you’ll argue. Very interesting!

    • Dennis Langley

      January 13, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Nice to hear that friendly debates can still be had. Especially among siblings. 😉 Thanks for your comments.


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