MECS Blog

A Mile in My Shoes

A Mile in My Shoes

Thursday, 18 August 2016  | Narelle - MECS Principal
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won’t survive the week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

Philosopher and author, Roman Krznaric used to think that society was changed through politics and the law but he now thinks it’s changed by changing how we understand each other. The key? Empathy. Without it, we’re emotionally tone deaf. It’s what bonds us to others. And so he’s set about creating an empathy revolution. Krznaric’s first step towards change involved the setting up of the world’s first Empathy Museum in London.

His second step was in the creation of the ‘A Mile In My Shoes’ installation which visited Australia earlier in the year for the Perth International Arts Festival. It’s a portable, giant shoebox where you’re given a pair of shoes and headphones with a recorded story and you spend a mile, literally, walking in somebody else’s shoes. We never really understand another person until we ‘step inside their skin and walk around in it’ for a while. Everybody has a story and we never really understand that person until we step into their shoes.

I think Jesus is the greatest example of someone who would step into the shoes of another person, understand their situation and through doing this, ultimately brought about a change in attitudes of individuals that continues to impact on our world even today.
When working with students it is really important to show understanding and empathy for them and their world and in doing so we are in a position to shape, influence, empower and facilitate growth.

It is also important to provide opportunities for them to step into the shoes of others and understand their plight and circumstances. This week is Middle School Special Week and as part of this week-long immersion program, Cycle B are focussing on a number of the Sustainable  Development Goals. These goals were established in 2002 as Millennium Development Goals to reverse the entrenched poverty, hunger and disease affecting billions of people around the world. (Go to http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals to find out more about these goals). Cycle B students have to investigate a particular goal and then form an organisation that raises awareness and support for their issue. This project culminates with the Middle School Expo on Thursday night when parents and friends can come along to be challenged, inspired and ‘donate’ to the most effective campaign. (You can also come along and see what Cycle A and the Year 9s have also been up to!)

What a great opportunity for our students to learn about empathy, and to increase their own awareness about some of the major issues that affect so many of the world’s population. Our school’s mission is to provide... ‘learning experiences that challenge each student to actively live for God in His world…’ This activity certainly does that!
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