Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover

By: Natalina (Sogang University)
There is an old and famous saying; “Don’t judge book by its cover”, which simply tells us not to judge someone or something based purely on what we see on the surface, because usually after taking a closer look, the person or thing will not be what we had expected him or her to be. We have been told this by many people who have good intentions for teaching others valuable lessons. For, as human beings, we are not flawless. Although we have been told numerous times not to judge in such a manner, for their outer look is not the mirror of his or her inner self, we sometimes let our egos get the best of us and we fall into the judging habit. Some say judging others based on their skin color is as wrong as judging them based on their appearances. I am one of them who thinks the same way and for several reasons. 

Judging people based on their appearances is blind judgment. When we judge people by their outer look we will incur various disadvantages. For instance, a person who has the perfect ability and deserves to get a job, however because of the way how he or she dresses, unfortunately, it causes them. Meanwhile, an unqualified person may be hired simply based on his appearance before actually knowing his ability. 

In contrast though, sometimes, it is valid to state that the way we dress shows ones personality. People's outward appearance can say a lot about who they are. I don't mean their face; but rather the clothes they choose to wear and how well they take care of their bodies. I can say it is pretty normal to judge them based on this observation. However, judging people by their skin color is indefinitely wrong and the biggest time waster if one is to do such. Skin color, like the name suggests- is just a color, so people shouldn't be judged on what that color may be, because everyone was born the way they are and the way they look.  

One fine day, when I and my African friend went shopping at Edae, some old Korean women, came near us without us noticing. While I was inside the clothes shop, one of the old Korean women started laughing, and exclaimed “This is my first time seeing this skin color directly” and she said this while touching my friend. When I went out from the shop, I saw a lot of people staring at my friend. I'm not sure whether they were staring at her for the same reason as the old woman was or rather because of her attitude. That time I couldn't help but feel bad for my friend. I asked her if she felt alright and she said she did, so, we decided to leave that place. Once we had taken some steps, another old woman came again and asked my friend an unacceptable question, “Don’t you feel so hot in this kind of weather”, asked the woman. I couldn't see my friend’s reaction, because I was staring at the woman with anger. I really wanted to slap her, but my friend told me not to. I realized that people around us felt so sorry, that the shop owner came over to us and apologized on behalf of the woman, and approaching the old woman, she pushed her to leave as quickly as possible. 

I have never understood what the color of someone’s skin had to do with the kind of person they are. We seem to spend so much time focusing on someone's appearance and not enough time on what is in their heart.  

I know, maybe we all do, that many people feel uncomfortable around black people, and the fear of the African-American race by white people is so deeply rooted in their culture and would be hard to eliminate even today. As Brent Staples said in his essay-Just Walk on By-that he often sees women who have the worst fear of him. He mentioned that he is not an aggressive person but due to the actions of some stereotypical thugs from his race he is then characterized to be one; and therefore seen as likely to commit crime. 

To overcome one’s fear of black people, I think the best way is you have to learn to live with it and rather make friends with them. Personally, I used to feel like this too. When I first went to Itaewon with some friends from Morocco, Tanzania, and Sweden, excluding my Tanzanian friend, we all found ourselves feeling uncomfortable around the black people there. Although we knew that we shouldn't feel this way, we couldn't help it at the time. My Tanzanian friend, then, told us that, if feeling that way towards them, is the same as feeling that way towards her too. But fortunately, I then learned how to talk to people and made a lot of friends from different countries. I have to admit that I had also made the error of judging someone without knowing them first, and this happens to me most of the time. I sometimes do so without meaning to, but it is already in my head. For example, sometimes if someone comes up and has baggy pants and is black, my mind shoots to gangster. I know it‘s wrong, but I can't help my reaction. 

I was struck by the title of one of Lady Gaga’s album, ‘I Was Born This Way’. I think this title means several things. The first thing is, you cannot criticize me. I didn't choose to be this way, and just as it’s not right to make fun of the handicapped, no matter what you think about what I am doing, you have no right to criticize me. I was born this way. I had no choice in it; it was gift of a fate to which I was condemned. Secondly, beyond this, the most important thing a person can do is to bring their hidden essence to the surface for all to see. That is, to transfer their interior core of beauty or talent to shine with the light of day, out in the open, through an act of self-expansion, actualization, or fulfillment. 

When you start to treat people based on their outer looks, whether in a good or bad way, you might get the same treatment from others. A treats B, B treats C, C treats D, and D treats A, is a cycle of this society. You are also somewhere in this cycle. So based on this logic, it is not difficult to understand that if you want to be treated nicely, you have to start a sound cycle from the beginning or even break a pattern in the old cycle and edit it with one of your own. It might work somehow and ultimately, surely have an impact- if my math is not wrong. And I must state, I am pretty good at math. 

1 comment:

DarwinsMyth said...

Your math is correct...
And these sayings are true... What goes around comes around... and What you sow, that is what you'll reap. So sow mercy and grace and you'll reap mercy and grace. Love you're neighbor as yourself and your neighbor will love you.

But, when is comes to sin, we should discriminate against it, not accept it. Lady Gaga's song is a lie, and so is the verse about homosexuals, lesbians, trans-genders and bi-sexuals being made perfect by God, is a lie. For one thing... NOBODY is perfect. We're all sinners in need of God's grace and forgiveness through the blood Jesus Christ shed on the cross. Also, those lifestyles are sins, and not how God created anyone, or else, He wouldn't condemn those sins, as He has throughout the Holy Bible (Romans 1:26-32;1Cor.6:9-11, etc.).

Of course, homosexuals and the like, will say, that my comment is hate, when in fact, it is love, because it's a warning from God to leave that lifestyle. It's as much about love as if I were to stop a blind man from crossing a busy 6 lane highway. I'm trying to stop certain death. Those whom can't be reasoned with will continue to call it hate, because they love their sin.

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