Growing up, we’ve all heard the cliché phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but, how many of us actually abide by that seemingly simple rule? In the 12th grade I had an awesome English and writing professor. Although writing has never been a strong point or an enjoyment of mine, going to his classroom every other day definitely was rewarding.
One day he shared a story of a fellow teacher with a similar classroom setting and students. He begin to explain that while standing in front of his classroom, this teacher held up a book and asked his students “What color is the cover?” Anyone in the classroom who wasn’t color blind could see the color of the book. “Yellow” the class yelled out in unison. The teacher asked the class again “Tell me the color of this book cover, this time look carefully.” The students all had a look of perplexity. They whispered and once again they replied “Yellow”. The teacher asked a third time and took his time with each word and making sure each student could see the front cover of the book. A third time the students replied “Yellow” but, this time they seemed to be doubtful of their own response.
After asking everyone if they were sure of their answers he turned the book around to reveal a black back cover. Gasps, sucked teeth, rolled eyes, and surprised and confused looks quickly filled the faces of the students. The teacher then replied “Never make a definite response without seeing your subject from every side.” At the time the story didn’t mean that much me, but as I grew as into a young adult and into a better person, it spoke volumes to me.
All too often we (especially us women) are quick to judge a person based off the one-dimensional side we see or perceptions we’ve heard from others. In the past, I have even been guilty of “disliking” or “beefing” with a person because my friend didn’t like them. I’m not saying that everyone you ever encounter deserves your time or your friendship, but the concept of disliking or not friending a person based off another’s experience is so bizarre to me now. People grow and people change. The Denee’ that I was in the 8th grade is long gone. To judge me based on a person who knew me then isn’t a fair representation of who I am today. Everyone has more than one side to them so each person’s encounter will be different and shape them in another way.
I didn’t attend my current school straight out of high school simply because a great friend of mine told me I’d hate it. Fast forward three years and I’m striving in ways I’d never imagined. I disregarded every aspect of my school because I was told it wasn’t for me. Sometimes we count people or certain circumstances out simply because it wasn’t another person’s cup of tea. I know that person wanted to see me at my best and because of their bad time they couldn’t see me being good here. Sometimes you have to step out of the box of what everyone else says is for you and do things for the betterment of you. Too often we judge people, places, and situations based off covers, or the one side that is shown. Yes, some things are exactly what they appear to be, but some things aren’t as well. Without any exploration, the depths of new people and things could never be discovered. Be careful about the covers you perceive or allow other to perceive for you.
-Denee, VP of PABPG Inc.