To Kill A Mockingbird : A GRAB(ook) review.

I joined an online book club a little while back, led by one of my good friends. And I was really excited to get the next assignment. To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorite reads from my English undergraduate degree. In college, I was drawn to Scout, who reminded me of myself when I was young.

(Man, college was a looooooooong time ago.)

When I read it again a few weeks ago, I was struck by this idea that repeats itself throughout the book:

You never really know someone until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.

What would life be like if we all did this? If, instead of judging moms for their parenting choices, perpetuating the so-called mommy wars because someone made different choices than we did, we agree instead that parenting is a really tough job?

What if, instead of telling a child he shouldn’t be angry over some minor issue, we instead look it things from his perspective and acknowledge his frustration?

What if we cultivated compassion and understanding of religions we didn’t understand, of people we didn’t understand, of circumstances we thought maybe were all their fault?

What would our world look like?

After you answer my question, please click over to read the rest of the book club questions for To Kill a Mockingbird.  You can get your own copy of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee at bookstores including Amazon.

6 comments on “To Kill A Mockingbird : A GRAB(ook) review.

  1. Deborah says:

    I see so much judgment in my work, so much blaming people for their life circumstances. It drives me crazy! It’s ironic, but I think I am too judgmental of judgmental people. I just have no patience for people who can’t be compassionate and put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Which makes me judgmental too, I think.

    • Jessie says:

      I’m with you, Deborah! I’m a social worker and therapist, and so my natural tendency is to put myself in another person’s shoes and look at their perspective. I see so many people who have trouble doing that, and it has a tendency to drive me nuts!

  2. a says:

    Oh, how I wish people would try this – they pay it lip service, but don’t seem to have the understanding to truly try. Or maybe we (as a society) are just so lacking in imagination that we can’t comprehend what it’s like to be someone else. I do think it requires a certain level of life experience and maturity (not age) to be able to do this, and maybe we’re living in a group of Peter Pans, who are incapable of growing up and seeing how things are from different perspectives.

  3. I think the world would be a much more peaceful world if there was a lack of judgment, prejudice, bigotry, racism, and bias. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but it will be a beautiful think to see if it did. Sadly, I don’t think it ever will happen and am reminded of an old Star Trek episode where the people were fighting simply because some on their planet had the black on the wrong side. It takes a strong and courageous individual to be able to accept others for who they are rather than what they do, how much money they make, where they live, the color of their skin, their ethnicity, religion, etc. There are some people in the world that exemplify these traits, but regrettably they are few and far between. Perhaps as the world becomes more cohesive and smaller due to technology, it may become less judgmental and prejudiced. We can only hope!

  4. Mel says:

    I think the world would be a lot less tense. Think about how much we second-guess ourselves worried about the reaction of others. And think about how much time we lose caring about another person’s choices that don’t even affect us.

    And at the same time, it’s really hard to do because we are simply imagining what we THINK they are feeling, and how often do we actually get it right when we attempt to walk around in another person’s shoes?

  5. loribeth says:

    Sorry I neglected to answer before this. :p My own question was somewhat related. The simple answer is, of course the world would be a much better place if we all tried on someone else’s shoes & walked around in them, even occasionally — but the previous posters have made some great points. I too tend to get frustrated by others’ seeming lack of empathy & imagination, which I guess is not too kind of me. 😉 And as Mel points out, there’s a difference between imagining and actually getting it right.

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