Summer is ending, but we still receive your beautiful stories for the contest #DUsummer2015 – the stories of the people you have met during your summer holidays, those people who have made a change.
The story of today is from Valeria (SpezieGentili) and it is from London, precisely from the Empathy Museum. It is the meeting with a person whose Valeria doesn’t know the name. A person Valeria met walking “a mile in her shoes”.
I had read on the Internet about this experiment, rolled out on September 4th, the day of my arriving in Gatwick: the Empathy Museum.
It is a social experiment born on the Times banks and it starts from the observation of the great leaders of today, from Obama to Papa Francesco, and the fact that the lack of empathy is a big issue of contemporary living.
On a Sunday morning in the beginning of September I arrived in a solitary edge in South-West London; the museum seemed like a big empty box, nothing more.
Inside, two king women asked me my number of shoes and they gave me a pair of light blue ballerinas and some headphones; all I had to do was to wear those shoes and walk for a mile, always straight along the river until it turns.
A gracious voice started to talk and in a heartbeat I was in a flowers shop, inside a market, where the stories of everyday life mix with the feelings of the people who tell them. If I think about it now, I realize that I don’t remember the name of the person I wore the shoes of for half an hour, I don’t even remember if she said it as the intensity of the story was so much.
I have thought about the sentence “I come back home every evening tired but happy for my day” all day long, it gave me incitement and creativity, and it confirmed the theory that says that ‘nothing is just a case’.
I gave back the shoes and the headphones, I put on my white Converse and I went out, thinking about one thing:
How many people do we meet everyday without knowing anything about them? Maybe if we just stopped and listened, we would know many more stories which could transmit us motivation and energies. I have been lucky to listen to one of them and I decided to bring back home everything!!
To connect with someone I just needed to wear her ballerina shoes..never say never in life!
[story and photos of Valeria Farina]