“To have a body does not make one a man (or woman).
To have a child does not make one a parent.”
Early in his career, Dad realized that people often weren’t what they appeared to be and that you couldn’t judge (in this case, meaning, read or understand) them by outward appearances. Though, as human beings, isn’t that exactly what we so often do?
Dad says, “A couple would walk into the gym with their child, the husband handsome and looking as though the world was his; the wife attractive, intelligent and confident-looking.
“Your first impression was that this is the perfect, happy family. Then, as you got to know them, you learned the husband had serious self-doubts, the wife did not feel at all attractive and smart, and they were both very unhappy with each other.
“Unfortunately, often the child was also not happy with himself as well. Wow, it really made you realize there’s a lot more to people than just what meets the eye.”
Isn’t that so true of the people we come across on a daily basis? We assume people are what they appear to be. And they assume same about us. The fact is, people have challenges they are constantly fighting. Some are external – most are internal. When we remember that, it helps us in dealing with the negativity that person seems to have towards us for no apparent reason. It helps us to empathize with them, and understand them.
Yet, instead, we judge the proverbial book by the even more proverbial cover? It’s been said that “we as human beings make major decisions based on very limited information?” Many moons ago – when snap decisions were often needed in order to keep one from becoming that night’s main course for an approaching animal – that instinct served us well. While, at rare times, it still does, such is no longer usually the case. Rather, it typically causes us to assume and misjudge, often with very counterproductive consequences.
In the final part of the series, we’ll look at a way to overcome this very natural tendency.
Oh, can you remember when you made a snap judgment about someone that turned out to be totally incorrect and perhaps didn’t serve you well? If so, feel free to share it with a comment.