This I Believe

Donnie - Lynnwood, Washington
Entered on December 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I know that it’s a really common belief, but I believe you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, for if they were to actually the opposite of what you thought, you will regret not giving them the attention they deserved. This isn’t one of those beliefs that will take a life changing experience to make you realize how important it is.

During 1999 when I was in third grade, I visited Vietnam to visit my relatives that I never met. I didn’t want to go because at the time I was scared of getting on the plane, and I was shy of people I did not know. But I went anyway. When we reached to my grandfather’s house everyone in our family that was in Vietnam was there, well most. I remember there were two kids out of the bunch of adults. During my first week there I didn’t speak to them at all, they seemed to not like me because I was from America. Whenever I looked at them, they were smiling and giggling at me, and at the time I thought they were making fun of me. But somehow we connected and gradually began to talk each other. I then realized that they were actually kind and not spoiled and mean like they seemed. I just interpreted them wrong and thought they were the opposite. In the third and fourth week while I was there, they showed me around the neighborhood and around the city, which was really fun, compared to going all around the country visiting my parent’s friends. Being friends with them made me feel comfortable being in Vietnam, there wasn’t that shy feeling anymore when I would walk around the house. My two cousins weren’t the only two that I judged, when I looked at my uncles and aunts, they had this mean look on their face, which scared me. But just like my two cousins they were the opposite, when they spoke to me they were really nice. We all even played cards with each other like we were all kids, and it was really fun. Now that I knew my family I felt as though I could be myself, and not be the kid that was always in his room. As my time in Vietnam ended I was really sad the day we left, because everyone seemed depressed. When we finally reached back home I was also depressed and missed them.

My time in Vietnam really showed me that judging a book by it’s cover is a horrible thing to do. If you were to continually judge everyone just by their physical appearance and if by doing that, made you avoid getting to know them, you can really miss out on great chances to be in some great relationships. If only you can realize how great of a relationship you can achieve by not judging them, you would regret judging people by their cover. That is what I believe and learned from my visit in Vietnam.