“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
It’s true. Sometimes we don’t know what other people are going through. Our classmates, coworkers, or whoever we come into contact with each day may be facing some challenges in their lives so it is important for us to treat everyone with kindness and consideration. Especially for students in health and human services majors, it is good to have good insight into issues that are prevalent in the communities we serve.
The Universities at Shady Grove provides us with an opportunity to take a closer look into the poverty in our community by hosting a Poverty Simulation. Several programs at our campus joins together to host this special event, where participants live the lives of families who are living in poverty and disparities, and volunteers act as service providers. You can read more about this event in my blog post from last year called “Poverty is not just for the poor“.
My role was a receptionist who works for Social Services. I had to turn people away, make them wait for a while, or create additional hardships for them. Through the simulation, families had their children taken away, lost their jobs, were evicted, and had to come social services for additional help. I firsthand saw how frustrating this was for the participants, and to think, they’re only roleplaying. Imagine what it must be like in real life and how difficult it must be to live in such hardships. I’m sure most of us has our fair share of struggles too, and that’s why it is especially important to be conscientious. Everyone’s fighting some kind of battle. We should treat everyone with respect and be kind to each other.
Let’s try walking in others’ shoes!