On February 19 Harper Lee died, the author of  To Kill  A Mocking Bird. It was one of my favorite stories.

My favorite part of the book that I have tried to live by since the first time I read it in the 8th grade with Mrs. Reekers was, “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.” I love this analogy instead of shoes. One can take off shoes and change but skin is a part of you and you cannot just change it. As humans, empathy is one of the greatest types of knowledge we can have. You do not have to experience every hardship or every great thing but when someone shares his or hers, one can feel it. This empathy comes from a place of feeling, not thinking. But when someone tells a story we have the ability to feel their words, to listen with our hearts and connect to them through their experience and what they are feeling. It is a moment when you connect to someone without words and don’t need to think of the right thing to say; with empathy silence is the best comfort. As it let’s us sit with someone’s pain or happiness for a moment, like lending a hand to carry something, not forever but for a moment. We forget this strength because most of the time as someone talks the person listening is preparing the reply or over analyzing what the person is saying. But try to listen and feel as if your skin could hear, crawl into the person’s skin and feel what they feel. Then take a few seconds to absorb the words through your skin and with your heart as if you are taking a shower and then feel your words before you speak. It is an amazing connection to another human being. May you rest in peace Harper Lee. Thank you for being such a guide on my personal journey.