Walk A Mile In My Shoes by Joe South

This week’s Song of the Week was recommended by MIA reader Markus Hüfner. Markus says, “The song is about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and feeling what it’s like to walk a mile in those shoes before criticizing or devaluing them. I’ve been to many psychiatrists over the last 20 years and very few have been compassionate, appreciative, and understanding. It is in this specialty of mentally ill people that one should be able to expect the greatest empathy. I like the song because it is helpful when I am devalued by other people without them ever having tried to empathize with me. The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says: Love (compassion) and understanding are one and the same. Without understanding there is no love (compassion) and without love (compassion) there is no understanding. I am sure that if all the staff of a psychiatric ward practised mindfulness meditation and loving kindness meditation together every morning, they would be more compassionate and understanding with patients who have had terrible things happen to them.”

-Markus Hüfner


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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