It's hard to fit another person's shoes. Take Cinderella for instance. Everyone tried but no one was successful. Those glass slippers were made for her - just her.
Even if our feet happen to be the same size we fit our shoes differently. They get worn out in certain spots and particularly comfy in other spots. I've borrowed shoes from friends many times. I'm a size 8, you're a size 8, and you've got cute shoes that go with my outfit? Perfect, I'll borrow them. But they probably don't feel quite as good on my feet as they do on yours.
So just as with real shoes, it becomes even harder to have a perfect fit with metaphorical ones. Impossible, really. Your life, like your shoe, fits you as well as it does because of the years you've had to work it in.
Walking in another's shoes, however, is something that we all need to do more of. The only way we can show empathy towards others is to try to understand them. It is usually those who spend the least time walking in the shoes of others who are the first to cast judgement. For those of us who are willing to try, it might get a bit uncomfortable sometimes. There may be some shoes that just hurt too much, and we want to toss them back. But there may be some others that pleasantly surprise us by how well they fit. A pair of shoes that we once thought were ugly might end up looking pretty good on us. And likewise, a pair of shoes that we once envied might not be as great close-up.
So just because I can't let this shoe metaphor go, the moral of my story is this: If we all spent less time wandering around high and mighty in our Manolo Blahniks and more time trying on our friends' beat up old runners, we might end up a little bit kinder and more understanding. Go try on a pair of shoes you could never see yourself wearing. You might be surprised at the result.
Thanks Ellen for the prompt and linkup.