Everyone wants to analyze the Trevon Martin Trial. I want to Walk with Joe South.
Joseph Alfred South died last September, and probably would only be known by select musicologists or those of us who read a great deal. He first made the charts with “The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor” in 1958, but the hit I remember was popularized by Elvis Presley in 1970, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” Today this song reverberates with the chaos of current events.
The lyrics demand greater attention this Sunday:
Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes
When talking to someone who thinks very differently, especially when you believe the person is being irrational, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and answer according to his line of reasoning. If you have any hope that your communication will be accepted, you must try to reply in a way consistent with the other’s manner of thinking, especially if you feel it is distorted and illogical.
Joe’s opening requires repeating:
If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour, if we could find a way
To get inside each other’s mind
If you could see you through my eyes
Instead your own ego I believe you’d be
I believe you’d be surprised to see
That you’ve been blind
This is the principle of entering the world of that other person, and you must make the effort to initiate communication. Failure to attempt to make this connection is as wrong as being in the wrong with your thoughts or logic. Today, seek connections, make the bond by trying to think as others do.
The song “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” should give you pause to reflect.
Now if we spend the day
Throwin’ stones at one another
‘Cause I will think, ’cause I will think
To wear my hat the same way you do
Well, I may be common people
But I’m your brother
And when you strike out
You’re tryin’ to hurt me
It’s hurtin’ you, Lord how mercy
Now there are people on reservations
And out in the ghetto
And whether they’re for the grace of God
Or you and I,
If I only had wings of a little angel
Don’t you know, I’d fly
To the top of a mountain
And then I’d cry, cry, cry