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In Someone Else's Shoes.

One of the qualities we aim to develop in Religious Education is empathy – walking in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is a quality we see in outstanding leaders. We can see this quality in Jesus, in Muhammed, in Mother Theresa and in Siddhartha Gautama. There are many more examples I could have referred you to here.

How can we develop our empathy? Well we can find out what it is like being homeless by spending some nights on the streets. Muslims fast for a month which develops empathy with those who are suffering famine, poverty and hunger. Most of us will not go to these lengths. We do however witness countless images in the media and if we spend some time pondering over these pictures we can begin to develop empathy with other people.

Here are some questions you might ask about this picture.

  • Who is in the picture?

  • What has happened in the past?

  • What is happening now?

  • What is their future?

  • What are our feelings towards the picture?

  • What is our response?

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