Mean is an interesting word. What I mean is … You are so mean … Mean people are average.
Are average people mean? Sometimes, certainly but I prefer to believe that average people prefer to do good things and are only mean some of the time. Perhaps though, in a larger perspective, average people in one culture might be viewed negatively by average people in another culture. It’s all about perspective.
How far or how far can we walk in another’s shoe? How far can we follow the path of anyone, including those in stories intended to guide our morality? I don’t know. Probably not far on a given day. We get a chance every day though so why not give it a try?
What’s the benefit? I suppose it’s a personal thing. We walk where we walk because it makes us feel good. We don’t feel good about hurting others (most of us, anyway) but each day many of us do. A snipe, a swipe, an offhand comment. Hurtful words and actions. Hurtful thoughts don’t seem to be a problem at first glance but, as it is sometimes put: thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions, and actions are the testament our lives.
The Buddhist eightfold path is often depicted as a circle. It isn’t intended that one follow a circular path daily. It’s just a way of making it look whole. How we live and view each element affects the others. Being aware, accepting self, learning from life, .. that’s all we can do and if we really do it each day, it’s enough.