“You never really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.” I believe in that saying and I know that most people know it and believe in it too. But are we really acting on it? Or are we just there to feel pity for those who are less fortunate? Pity and empathy are two different things. When you pity someone you feel thankful that you are not that person or not in that person's situation. Empathy is a different thing, it is actually experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. If people could only quit pitying and start empathizing, the world will be transformed into a better place. 

Do you know Bilaal Rajan? Have you heard about him? He's young but he has made a big difference in the world and he continues to make a change in this world. He believes in empathy that is why he is having and initiative called Barefoot Challenge. National Volunteer Week is taking place April 19 – 25, 2009. Bilaal is asking fellow students, teachers and the general public to put ourselves into the shoes of the less fortunate (the underprivileged children in the developing world – many of whom cannot afford shoes, let alone attend school or even know where their next meal is coming from). We can put ourselves into their shoes by not wearing shoes for a week. He's doing it and he hopes that we'll join him in his quest for change. Are you in with him? 

Bilaal has also written a book, it is good to check out his book. 



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