Cliff Hakim’s ‘Walk in My Shoes’ follows the path of empathy and kindness

Cliff Hakim’s ‘Walk in My Shoes’ follows the path of empathy and kindness

Full and original article posted on worcestermag.com

“If the shoe fits,” as the saying goes, “wear it.”

Cliff Hakim’s new book, “Walk in My Shoes: The Path to Empathy and Compassion,” shows how kindness has been a good fit for the 35 people he interviews from different walks of life

 In terms of timeliness in today’s turbulence, it could be said to be great path for everyone to follow.

“The message of the book is kindness matters and compassion is a super-power,” said Hakim, who grew up in Shrewsbury and is a teacher, writer, counselor, executive coach, artisan/entrepreneur and artist who now lives in Arlington.

“The words are simple, but the work it takes just to go inside ourselves and look at someone kindly, with no agenda — I think these real gestures of how we treat one another add up to the health of society,” Hakim said during a recent telephone interview.

“Walk in My Shoes” came out in December and is published by Hakim’s own publishing company, WIMS Publishing. It is available at amazon.com.

The heart of “Walk in My Shoes” is based on the 35 people who Hakim interviewed, “ordinary people who are proof that we do still care for one another and have the will to make things better, that empathy and compassion are the glue of American society, and that kindness is a pillar of strength.”

They are all extraordinary in their own way, and the stories they have to tell are often very moving. Hakim calls them “storytellers” rather than interviewees.

Among the storytellers are  Annette Rafferty, founder of Abby’s House, which provides affordable housing and a shelter for women and their children in Worcester, and James A. Welu, former director of the Worcester Art Museum.

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