This I Believe
I believe that no one should be judged by how they look. There are too many stereotypes in this world, and people are constantly being judged unfairly by their appearance. People are labeled as “weird” or “creepy” by the way they look, and it usually turns out that they are just like you and me (for the most part). For example, I was coming home from Dallas a few weeks ago, and it was a packed flight, and I seem to always be the person who has to sit by the “weird dude who sits in the back by himself”. As I was making my way towards the back, I spotted that “weird dude” and, at the same time, realized that the lonely seat by him was the only one left on the plane. After debating with myself on whether or not I wanted to sit by him or in the bathroom, I decided to take a seat. The man sat there by himself, twiddling with his thumbs nervously, never looking up and always blinking furiously, like there was something in his eyes. This guy seemed to be the ultimate “weird dude”. At this point I was ready to turn on my iPod and hope that it would be a quick flight, but then the man turned to me and said, “This is my first flight. Is it supposed to be this bumpy on the takeoff?” I said, “Yea, its usually this bumpy. You’ll be all right though.” Then this guy started telling me his whole “situation”. It turns out that this guy (who’s name was Mark by the way) was on his way to see his mom for the first time, and he was Amish (explaining why he had never been on a plane). His mom put him up for adoption when he was born, and his adopted parents had just told him where she currently lived, so he decided to go find her. He was dressed in “normal” clothes because his mom was Jewish, and he didn’t want to shock her too much by showing up to her door in traditional Amish clothing. Mark turned out to be a very nice guy, and after he got used to the flight, he loosened up and, eventually, stopped spilling to me his life story. I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that the “weird dude on a plane that no one wants to sit by” and other “creepy people” shouldn’t be judged by how they look. What everyone has to realize is that, odds are, the creepy dude on the plane isn’t a serial killer, and he (or she) isn’t going to be a creep after all. In most cases, all you really need to do is give the person a chance to say what they have to say, and at least give them an opportunity to change your opinion about themselves.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.