Why would they do such a thing? People can do confusing things that others won’t comprehend. To better understand why people can do such things one has to “Climb into their skin and walk around in it.” This is explored in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee which explains what motivated the people to see from this perspective, what good comes from it, and how the characters behavior change after. Once you can understand their reasons then you can truly feel empathy towards others and help build a better community.
Many people don’t understand others feeling, or predicaments for example in the beginning Scout thought Mrs.Dubose was just a mean old devil but after her death she learns that she was a morphine addict who struggled with her illness. Atticus says, “If you can learn a simple trick Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folk.” Scout then learns about walking in someone else’s skin and the if she can learn empathy she can get along with everyone. Scout steps into to Boo’s shoes to realize that Boo has been watching over them the whole time and near the end of the novel she sees herself and Jem from his point of view “Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again and his Boo’s children needed him.” Scout feels she has learnt everything except perhaps algebra and that she and Jem had matured considerably in the past years. “He picked up the camellia, and when I went off to bed I saw him fingering the wide petals.” After Mrs.Dubose’s death Atticus explains what she was dealing with and Jem also starts to empathizes and realizes that Mrs.Dubose was a very courageous determined woman and understands the reason for her vicious behavior. If people were able to empathize like Jem and Scout we would be in a much more friendly and caring environment.
People only see one side of the story/person but if we empathize with that person we can see it from their view a whole different story. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, “Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principle of nkali” (Nkali means greater than another) This happens to the people of Maycomb where negros are only seen as trash and this limits everyone because the negroes are more than that. When Jem sees Scout bullying Walter he grins and says, ‘Come on home to dinner with us Walter, we’d be glad to have you.” Jem steps into Walter’s shoes for a minute after seeing what Scout does and he invites Walter to dinner with and makes good things happen because he empathized with him. Atticus know what really happened for Mayella and feels sorry for her he tries to help her ‘Why don’t you tell the truth, child, didn’t Bob Ewell beat you up?” but she denies all claims and gives up the chance to make a change. The chance to make a difference is presented by understanding and giving a person a chance to make things better even though current events aren’t going so well.
Through understanding we can all change to become a better person overall by helping each other out and making a change. When Scout tries to kill a roly-poly Jem says, ‘Don’t do that Scout. Set him out on the back steps.” Jem has matured and learned that the roly-poly doesn’t anything to bother people and killing it wouldn’t be right. Scout joins the Missionary Society Meeting because of Aunt Alexandra and figures out what it means to be a lady. Learning of Tom Robinson’s death Scout says, “After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this so can I.” Scout has grown up a bit and is slowly becoming a lady who understands things from many perspectives.
Scout has also learned that Boo Radley is not a monster instead that he’s a shy recluse and that he always watched over them and Scout says, “Atticus was right. One time he said, you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” By making a connection with others you slowly gain knowledge and create more friendships.
“You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” This quote from Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” means to empathize towards other, people you normally would just stick a label on. If people were like Jem and Scout everyone would get along much better and society would be a happy community full of people who were all unique but understood each other. Thanks to modern technology people can now communicate long distance and with the help of media, news, and texting we can see things from more than just one point of view.