One day I was approached unexpectedly during my passing period from English to lunch. As I was walking through the open hall a boy stopped me to tell me ten dollars dropped from my back pocket. I was shocked in two ways.
My first shock was who approached me. This boy was in my math class and he came across as being an obnoxious, self-centered male. I did not expect him of all people to make an effort of stopping me in motion to return money that he easily could have kept for himself.
My second shock was that I had money in my pocket. I told the boy that I did not believe it was mine because I did not remember slipping it in my pocket that morning. After that he could have said “ok” and ran off with it but again he said he thought it was mine and if it was not, I could have it anyways. He was given two opportunities to take the money but instead he took the honest route and that made me think differently on a certain issue.
I believe that one should not jump to conclusions about people or stereotype them but instead learn more about them to get a real/general idea of there personality, beliefs and/or values.
It was my fault to judge this boy because of a first impression or basing my opinions of him off the judgments others make about him. I am thankful he approached me for two reasons. Well, for the most obvious reason, I did not lose ten dollars. For the more important reason, I re-evaluated the way I began to view people.
Through out my life, especially high school, I hear people conversing all the time about how “this person is so stuck up because they are rich,” or “so in so must be a loser because they do not talk.” Ok, so they do not speak. Maybe it is because they do not feel secure enough and they are just shy. Maybe they are afraid every word that could come out of their mouth will be judged with negative feedback.
People just want to belong. So give them a chance. Actually talk to someone you would never think about talking to. After that your whole view of them may change, but it is possible it may not. The important part is that you gave that effort towards learning more about them, even if it is a brief chat. That is more than the glance you may give them in the hallway every other day.
I believe in not jumping to conclusions about people but having an open mind about everyone until you have given them a chance to prove otherwise.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.