"If I was in his place, I wouldn't have done that"
How often do we use that statement, albeit in different forms? It sounds very reassuring to make a statement like that, but the fact is, if we were in someone else's place, we'd be doing exactly what they do, no matter how stupid it looks to us.
Every individual is a product of the circumstances in their past, both this life and the previous. Little things that happen during our childhood mould our outlook in life. When we undergo different types of experiences, we subconsciously form different types of opinions. As we grow older, we slowly form our behaviour pattern based on these instances. A child who had to cry out everytime he needed something, will grow up with the opinion that one never gets anything unless one throws a tantrum - and this is how he will deal with every similar circumstance.
Somewhere down the line though - when there is a change of environment or people, we need to unlearn these lessons and form new behaviour patterns again. This is where almost all of us falter. We reapply our childhood lessons to adult situations, and leave the door to misery wide open.
If someone reacts in a particular way to a situation, he has his entire past to blame for it. And therefore, if you ever comment that you would have reacted differently if you were someone else, think again. You are a product of a totally different set of circumstances.
Some of us are lucky to realize, that we don't really have to be a product of our circumstances -we can choose to unlearn lessons, choose to learn lessons from others. Ironically, this realization too, is a product of our circumstances!