Consider it From His Point of View

April 11, 2010
By
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This is the quote that Harper Lee wrote in her book, To Kill a Mockingbird. This quote is a very popular and true quote, that describes how sometimes in order to understand a person well, you need to “put yourself in their shoes.” Understanding someone takes more than just listening to their side of the story, it takes actually considering what they’re going through: what they’re thinking, feeling, and seeing.
A long time ago, when I was about 6 years old, and very childish and not really aware of the things around me as I am today, I received the news that my uncle had just died of a stroke, and was in the hospital. It was so shocking to me that he wasn’t around anymore, because just the day before he had been at my house. I didn’t really cry about it, and I don’t know why, but it did strike me that he was gone forever. When we went over to my aunt’s house the day after, it was a grim sight. My aunt couldn’t stop crying, and my cousin, who was 9 at the time, wouldn’t talk to anyone. We were there to help them move their stuff, because apparently they were moving. All of it happened so quickly; in the hospital my aunt made up her mind that she was moving to New Jersey, and I wasn’t aware of it until they actually moved away. In my opinion, I made a big mistake by opening my mouth and saying, “I feel your pain, man,” to my cousin, which wanted to be left alone because he was outside near the bushes, away from everyone else.
“You don’t feel my pain – you can’t feel my pain. You hated him anyways,” was his reply, and that made me realize he was mad at me. I left him alone though, out of anger mostly. I was mad at him for talking so crudely to me after I just tried to make him feel better. He thought I hated him just because, as a kid, in various accounts, I used to hurt him with toys, books, and anything I could find when he made me mad. And that eventually led to his dad not liking me very much. I didn’t hate him, I never did, but my cousin thought I did. Now I realize that I was the one being stubborn, because I should’ve considered the way he felt about all of it. I was told, afterwards, that he saw his dad die on the bed where he slept, and couldn’t dial 9-1-1 fast enough. That must’ve been very traumatic. If it was me in his situation, I don’t even know what I would’ve done. I can’t imagine not having my dad around today, and frankly, I don’t want to imagine it. I shouldn’t have been mad at him, because he said that out of grief, and I’m sure he didn’t mean it. But as a 6-year old, I was pretty stubborn.
At the funeral though, he seemed to have gotten over it, and so did I. So, it wasn’t really a big deal. He was still sad that his dad was gone, but at least he talked to me. They moved to New Jersey the next day, and after that I didn’t see them for quite a long time. I should've tried to consider it from his point of view, realizing that losing a dad was one of the worst things that could happen to anyone, and that it was the worst thing that had happened to him.





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