By now you’ve probably heard me talk about my experience living on the streets of San Diego as I researched my 21st book, “The Homeless Hero”. If most (or all) of the many things we take for granted were taken away I believe we would naturally be more empathetic to the plight of the homeless. Until we’ve walked in another person’s shoes, can we truly understand what their life is like?
We just had our annual Bay Party, which is held in front of our home. It was very well attended and a huge success. That said, imagine dozens of kids covered in sand running in and out of your house–and their parents all making use of the “facilities” for hours on end. Then picture piles of paddle boards, boogie boards, coolers, rafts, beach chairs, and other items that all need cleaning. That’s what I woke up to on Monday morning.
I spend eight straight hours deep cleaning (and painting) inside our home as well as washing off everything outside that day. (I also had to break down and store all of the band gear.) It made me realize how hard it must be to be a maid–I wouldn’t last a week. I also was able to appreciate a little of what it would be like to be a roadie–not to mention how an employee at a beach equipment rental company must feel when tourists drop off all the sandy equipment at their door.
My point is, we really can’t know what other people deal with on a daily basis until we’ve walked in their shoes (and vice versa.) I think it would be great if we could experience different jobs for a day just to get a sense of how hard some of them are so we could comprehend what others have to deal and maybe we would understand why they may be stressed and cranky.
When I lived on Maui there was a major shortage of qualified employees on the island so I was able to try out several different jobs (I worked on a sailboat, a radio station, recording studio, sunglass manufacturer, and of course, at a hotel.) I didn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life by trying out these jobs, but I did start to realize what I didn’t want to do (which was almost as helpful.) I also gained a lot of insight into how hard certain jobs can be (especially if you don’t absolutely love them.)
I’m not sure why I remember this about Tom Peters (a business guru) but he once mentioned that as a frequent traveler he always wiped down his room to make life a little easier for the maid. After my day-long cleaning marathon, I think I will also be more respectful when it comes to the people who do the jobs that nobody notices (unless they don’t do them right) and try me best to put myself in their shoes so I can see things from their prespective.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK “THE HOMELESS HERO” http://www.amazon.com/Homeless-Hero-Lee-Silber-ebook/dp/B00PNQL9T2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438736497&sr=8-2&keywords=lee+silber
ABOUT GEORGE PLIMPTON’S BOOK “PAPER LION” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_Lion