The expression ‘Out of the mouths of babes’ recognises children’s unique ability to cut through layers of adult rationalisation to express something fundamentally wise and true. Here I want to substitute Belgians for babes.
Last week I wrote about standing in the shoes of those you wish to influence. I confess, I have written about it before. And when I did one of my regular readers, who lives in Belgium and is Belgian, replied. Take it away Didier Verstichel:
‘In French we have a saying. Before you can stand in someone’s shoes you
must first take off your own shoes!’
That is so true. Just as the people we are trying to influence put up barriers for protection from poor advice, we too hide behind barriers, protecting our egos by defending our beliefs and opinions. To really stand in someone’s shoes we need to take off our own, to stop ourselves from letting our prejudices get in the way.