The Power of Empathy in DEI

As a young girl, whenever I displayed my worst self with my selfishness, impatience, condescension, and unkindness—you know, the behavior parents try to manage and disrupt in their children before adulthood—my wise father would gently, yet firmly say, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” Although I listened, it would take years for me to fully grasp the concept he was conveying: empathy.

Now, as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional, one of my main goals is to teach or remind others to empathize. You don’t have to wear the same shoe size or like the same shoe style. However, what it does require is that you try your best to slip on their shoes and, for a moment, walk in them to the best of your ability. They might feel too loose or too tight, but that’s all part of the experience. 

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