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The book. The cover. The judgement.

We’ve all been taught really early on in life that you should not judge a book by its cover. I’m sure life has also placed an exclamation mark on this statement. Most of the times we do this with other human beings we
share the world with. Saggy pants = thug or criminal; miniskirt = provocative woman; dread locs = someone to be afraid of.

I was asked to take part in a fun debate on cougarism and was told to meet at a location to meet my teammates and the lady hosting the event. I got there first and started chatting with the host who quickly warned me that the guy on my team was a “fan” and was very vocal in expressing how much he…loved my lips. The me inside my head was like “great…a pervert!” Moments later I could see the shadow of a tall man approaching the door. “This must be him,” I said to myself. He was wearing a green t-shirt, baggy jeans, he wasn’t clean cut and shaven and had a patch of locs at the back of his head to the right side and was wearing simple Nike tennis.

“Eh!,” I again muttered to myself. “What’s he going to bring to the table? And he’s already focusing on my physical features, this is going to be long!” The host introduced us and very quickly we strike up a conversation about male/female relationships, Bahamian culture and (get this) entrepreneurship!

Let’s just say, 10 minutes in I wanted to slap, kick and punch myself for being so judgmental. This man, probably in his early 40s, proved to be so wise, intelligent and well spoken, a far cry from the person I painted in my head, based on one quick glance and something he allegedly said.

A major part of the conversation we had centered on how many women these days, don’t know how to take a compliment and how society has trained us all to be so sex driven, so every word, comment and compliment is misconstrued. Oh Lord, I cringed at the thought of me being that girl just moments ago. But I dare not admit to it. Instead, I smiled and walked away with a new mindset from a very old lesson. Never judge a book by its cover…ever!

I felt so bad passing judgment on this man I had never met, but yet still loathe it when people do it to me.

I think I was served a huge piece of humble pie that I obviously needed to eat with my hands and not a fork.

We all really need to stop passing judgment on people simply based on physical appearance. I can’t imagine how many relationships, business ventures or just a good damn conversation we passed up because we were too busy turning up our noses and rolling our eyes.

Smile a little and say hi, despite how the other person looks. I’m pretty sure you’ll learn so much more about yourself. I sure did.