I don't read a lot of Philosophy books anymore, particularly from Western Philosophy, because from my experience, what usually happens is that while the goal is to make sense of, for example, the human condition, I only find myself getting buried with all sorts of words and labels for this and that until I realize that I’ve gotten myself even more confused.
What I can understand from "I and Thou", however, is that if we treat another person or animal, not as a thing or an object, but somewhat like ourself, with needs and emotions, we can actually experience even momentarily what it would be like to go beyond our self and be in that person or animal's situation.
So for example, at home, we have quite a number of stray cats. Usually, when I pass by, they would scurry off and hide. However, there would be one or two of them who would stay their ground and not be flustered by my approach at all.
Somehow, I find myself admiring these cats who exude such quiet confidence.