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What You See Is Not Always What There Is
Don't judge a book by it's cover
As we go about our daily lives while observing our fellow man, we, at times, tend to think that what we see on the surface is the real person. Take for instance, when we see a person driving a luxury car, we think he must be living well, or at the very least he must make enough money to afford it. The house in which a person resides, does it convey a particular message, maybe it appears to indicate how much a person earns, or what his priorities are? Think too, when we see the style of dress of an individual, we surmise if they are dressed that way, it must indicate the type of person they are. Then there's the person who's always smiling, you're thinking, oh, she must be real nice. What about the person who has, what appears to be, a perpetual scowl? Perhaps you see what you think is a person frequently under the influence. Oh yes, and what about a person's ethnicity. All the situations mentioned herein, can be interpreted in various ways. Let's see how.
What do we see
Let's look at these situations individually. First, take the person driving a luxury vehicle, maybe he is just who you think he is, someone who can really afford that vehicle. On the other hand, he could be living well above his means, perhaps it was a gift, maybe he was once able to afford the vehicle, it's paid for and he prefers to keep it. What about the man driving the old, dare I say rundown, but running car? Do you remember the now deceased billionaire, Sam Walton of Walmart fame? He always drove a pickup truck that was quite a few years old. You see, some individuals priorities are, not to reveal their financial status by what they drive. Need I say more?
Then there's the big house on the hill, or the "tiny" two bedroom apartment in what is commonly called the "'hood," oh, and don't forget about the house on wheels in the trailer park? Sometimes the house on the hill is what it seems, a rich man's house, other times it could be one that was bought and paid for years ago, and the occupant feels, why move somewhere else, after all it has sentimental values, or consider this, he just might not be able to afford it, again living above his means. The apartment in the "hood," could, on one hand be all that a person can afford, maybe the person likes apartment living, or, he could just like living in familiar surroundings. What about living in a trailer park. For some, it is an affordable retirement home, others might prefer the independence of living without a mortgage or related upkeep, or this might be all a person could afford. Whatever, if it is of concern, why not ask, (I'm just saying), You know, some people don't mind telling you why they live where they live. On the other hand you might be told, it's none of your business, and it might just well be.
Let's look at how a person dress. Some prefer to buy the most expensive clothes in the store, whether they can afford them or not. This just could be their weakness. Then there's the person who dress down, but neat and clean, what message might they be sending, maybe, they feel that clothes don't make the man, or woman. What about those who use clothes for personal expressions, such as rebelling against society, or some just don't care how they dress?
When I was employed in a high end department store, we were told not to judge a person by the way they dress. I had a co-worker who said, she had a customer who, looked as if she could ill afford anything from that store, and everyone else in the department looked the other way. She followed the company's rule of never looking down on anyone, and approached the customer. The end results was, the customer spent over $1000.00 with her. To top it off, she worked on commission, (enough said). Have you ever seen Pretty Woman, with Julia Roberts, the scene where she went into the fancy boutique, on Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills, California, dressed like a lady of the evening, because that's what she was? Well, the ladies looked down their noses at her, and sent her packing. Later that week she went back in the store dressed in an obviously very expensive outfit, holding up her shopping bags, from the other luxury boutiques, and asked the saleslady if she worked on commission, after the saleslady affirmed that she did, Julia Roberts held up her bags and voiced my favorite line, "big mistake, big mistake, huge mistake." I've always wanted to say that, LOL!
Have you seen the person who's forever smiling, who appears, on the surface to be the nicest person alive. But once they open their mouth, their tongue is sharper than any two edged sword, "you open your mouth, they jump down your throat, and cut you down to size," all the while displaying that 100 watt smile. Of course that smile could indicate that the person is really nice. Then, you have the person who never actually smiles. Does that mean that they are not a nice person. Maybe, or maybe not. It could just mean that they were brought up that way. But upon becoming acquainted with them, you find them to be the nicest person you know, they would give you the shirt off their back, if asked.
What about the individual called the neighborhood drunk. Have you ever tried approaching that person. There are illnesses that resemble the inebriated state. Even if they are the "neighborhood drunk," what happened, why did they become such? Sometimes just looking beneath the covers, we may find a different person than we see on the surface.
One of the most controversial aspects of this subject, is that of ethnicity. It's unfortunate, that we tend to focus on race, creed, or color. In some areas of society your ethnicity indicates your rank or standing in society, and as such, you may be considered, the smartest, the least or the most intelligent, the laziest, the most evil, the most humane, the cruelest, the least or most well off, the best athlete, the best entertainer, and the list goes on. In looking more closely, most of these stereotypes have proven to be untrue. In other words, in this situation, judging a book by it's cover can be very deceiving.
An Observed Example
I have an example of not judging a book by its cover, that I was privy to. During this particular time I was self-employed, I had a fellow business associate,who came into what I like to call "new money", by virtue of his business acumen. He, at one time carried on his person 25,000 dollars at all times. I often warned him that it was unsafe, he eventually ended that practice. I digress. Once, while in the market for a new automobile, he went shopping with his customary 25k on his person. Oh, did I mention he was a minority. He went to a luxury used auto lot, and asked the cost of a newer luxury automobile, the salesman, being what I would call a bonehead, haughtily said, you guessed it, 25k, (not). Anyway, my associate said, going along with what seemed to be, the joke, "you sure." Salesman Bonehead, "yeah, for 25k cash out the door, you can drive off the lot right now. Businessman, "if you're serious, write me up." Bonehead, with a smirk said, "okay, I'll do that," of course you know there were witnesses, all standing around getting in on the "joke." After the contract was partially written up, Businessman said once more, "are you sure, now?" Bonehead, "sure, see, I'm writing up the contract. (Slow day I guess). Businessman unzipping his waist pack, pulled out the whole 25k and lays it on the desk to seal the deal. Bonehead pleaded with Businessman to pay the real price, but no dice, a deal is a deal. There is more to the story, but, suffice it to say, Businessman got his auto for only 25k out the door. Okay, now this really happened, not one of my made up scenarios.
So, before you pass judgement on someone as to why they do what they do, or look like they look, give it a second thought, and remember, DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, OR MAYBE, WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT THERE IS!
© 2009 Alfreta Sailor