A friend sent me the following true story:
One day, a schoolteacher assigned each of her 5th Grade students a simple task e.g. bringing chalk pieces from the store, bringing a book from the staff room, bringing a glass of water from the water cooler, etc. The student was blindfolded, while a classmate would walk behind him to ensure that he did not injure himself. After performing the tasks, everyone realized how simple tasks became so difficult when one was blindfolded.
Next day, when they visited the School for the Blind along with their teacher, all these students were really appreciative about the work done by the blind students – the handicrafts, written books etc. They did not pity the blind children or look down on them; they empathized with them and respected them!
What a simple and lovely way to make young children empathize with the differently-abled! If we all tried to empathize with people who are in some way different from us, the world would be a better place.
Before we pass judgment on persons who have behaved in what we consider a foolish or abnormal manner, we must ask ourselves how we might have behaved if we had been in that person’s circumstances.