I firmly believe that people should not judge a person only by external appearances.
All too often we judge people quickly, and we do not take the time to get to know
them. And some people judge a person’s character by external appearance simply because
they believe these judgments are, for the most part, correct. There is no denying the fact
that there are situations in which judging a person based on appearance is necessary, but
such quick conclusions can lead to ridiculous misjudgments.
Last Tuesday afternoon, I was standing outside a clothing store waiting for my friend
to make his payment. An Asian guy came across to me and started to speak Japanese , a
language that I do not speak except for cuss words. For those who do not know who I am,
my features are indicative of my ethnicity. At this point in the conversation I was trying to
explain in English, why I did not speak Japanese to someone who spoke almost no Engl-
ish. Needless to say, we were having technical difficulties. Finally, I figured out what he
was talking about and told him the Levi’s store was at the end of the street by using body
language. Then I left.
This kind of thing happens to me often, even though I know my clothes and shoes
are made in Japan, it seems many Japanese somehow miss the point that many Chinese
are in favor of clothing brands from Japan and are not familiar with the Japanese language .
It makes me wonder how many African Americans, get asked whether they play in a
professional club or not,or, how many of you get approached by strangers, who want to know
whether you desire drugs.
I have always looked up to and respected any elderly person – I mean they fought in
the war to allow us to live like we do today. I have always thought that the elderly could
do no wrong, but recently I was proved wrong.
In the run up to Chinese New Year, I had gone shopping with my father and my two
little brother. I had taken my brothers into a card shop so they could pick a New Year’s
card for our daddy. As you can imagine the shop was very crowded and the queue to pay
went from the till, up the aisle and halfway down the next one.
After my brothers had chosen their card, I went to join the edge of the queue. There
were two elderly women at the end, one had some cards in her hand and the other just
looking through the racks. Not wishing to queue jump, I politely asked if they were in the
queue, to which the lady holding no cards replied ‘what queue?’ I replied the queue to pay.
To which she replied, ‘Do I look as if I’m in a queue to pay when I don’t have any cards in
my hand?’ At this I just went and stood in front of them at what was now the back of the
queue. As the queue worked its way around, I noticed that these two ladies were just
getting served and were on their way out of the shop – it looked as though they had just
walked right to the front and gotten served without bothering to queue.
I thought that the lady’s reply to me was quite rude. If she had thought I was being
thick for asking such a stupid question, she could have just replied no, rather than try to be
so sarcastic .I have been brought up to respect the elderly, but when this is the way that
they treat you in return, it makes me wonder.
When I was in college, I used to catch a bus every day to and from college. A guy
whom I occasionally saw around college, but did not know, who would also
sometimes be on the same bus. This guy had blonde hair which was spiked, always wore
ripped tee shirts and jeans, had numerous tattoos, and had his nose, lip, tongue, and ears
pierced. You could see by the way some people looked at him, that they were wary.
We were both on the bus home one day. A lady had gotten on the bus at the local town
with a few carrier bags, pram and young child.
When it came to my stop, I was getting off, along with the guy and this lady. As the
lady was at the front and we both sat at the back, it took a while to work our way to
the front. Anyway this poor lady was struggling with the pram, bags and child, and not one
person, not the bus driver, not all the people who were all sat there watching her, annoyed
because she was taking so long to get off, made any attempt to help her. Only two people
attempted to help; the guy who I knew went up and asked would she like help with her
bags and proceeded to carry some off for her, even though he also had books from college.
I then took the pram for her, even though I struggled because I was weighed down with my
bag and lever arch files. People saw us trying to help and saw that we were struggling because
we were so loaded from with our own things, and they just sat there.
People looked at this guy as if he was nothing, but when it came to helping a woman
who needed it, he was the only one who could be bothered to help.
After taking the above into consideration, maybe you will agree with me that we should
not judge people by how they look or act. We do not know why they are the way they are;
there could be plenty of other reasons. I would certainly not like people to judge me before
they got to know me. I try my very best not to judge people until either I get to know them,
or their actions have given me reason to judge them. Who gives anyone the right to say that
the man in the suit is any better than the guy with the long hair, or the overweight person is
like that because they overeat. I think that people should know the facts about someone
before they consider themselves in a position to judge somebody
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.