Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't judge a book by its cover

Ok - warning this post is not about books or writing! There had to provide the disclaimer. This post is about me. (Shocking right? My blog. A post about me... mmmm!)

So in the last two weeks, I think I have heard some really interesting stuff. Furthermore I have done some really interesting stuff. I have thought alot of really deep and interesting thoughts.

But let's back up shall we. We live in a very visual world. We use our eyes to take in all sorts of information. Is it a sunny day? Are my socks matching or not? We read with our eyes. When driving our eyes are very busy watching the road. It only make sense that we use visual clues or memory to fill in the blanks quickly. Our brains are really big, fast information processors. Our very own super computer - right between our ears.

Sadly we also use appearances to judge others. We have decided that certain people belong to certain groups based on their dress, color of their skin, hair styles, ect. On a certain level that is ok. I mean we have to establish some sort of system or systems to order the world around us. Otherwise our brains would be in complete chaos all day long.

Likewise, people often dress a certain way, wear their hair a certain way, conduct their daily lives a certain way in order to show their inclusion in a certain group, culture, subculture, etc. For example, Buddhist monks shave their heads and wear the orange robes. Catholic priests tend to dress a certain way. Women in Islamic countries or even those in Western countries wear some sort of head covering as a sign of their faith.

That said, it is dangerous fun to make assumptions about people based solely on visual cues. I had a teacher in high school who routinely wrote on the board the following:

Assume = Ass + U + ME

Meaning that assuming things made an ass out of you and me

So with that said, I would like to say that I have been in a few situations of late, were I have let's say shocked some people. Now, I perversely love the fact that I can shock people. I like it alot actually. Perhaps a bit too much for my own good. However that is a post for another day, what I am actually trying to say is - I think we all need to be careful. Everything is not always as it appears. People are individuals and while out visual cues may be helpful, they are not absolutes. It is important to pause and ask ones self, is this all that it appears to be.

I intend to be very careful, going forward, to look, listen, observe and reflect, before I draw too many conclusions. Because I want to be sure I am forming solid judgments and not working from erroneous clues.


IHateToast said...

or you could live in a country where you're judged to be like GWB because you're an american (and a texan... and the dixie chicks are from vermont?).

people like to judge. what is reality telly but judging on television.

what brought this on?

Susan said...

Well a series of things actually. Just being in different situations where people have said something like this, "I never would have guessed that about you...." or "I had no idea that you believed that...." or "Had I known that about you...."

Well if you wanted to know you should have asked or what made you assume I would not think that.....