Monday, December 05, 2005

I Judge by Appearances

Okay, not always, but I do. When am I ever going to stop doing this? I was writing a paper on the religious dialogue of the writers of the American Renissance today at the Provo Pub Lib, and a smelly, long haired, bearded, sports atire wearing, obviously unwashed man sat right in front of me. I reacted with a wrinkled up nose of repulsion. He came and left the lab a few times, as did I, and on one of his absences I peaked at his paper work. Yep! He is writing a very interesting paper on some aspect of the nature of women, with a whole pile of libabry books with literary criticism in them! When he returned he made a really cute quip about red heads being the smartest women! I laughed and smiled~ he made my afternoon, with his friendlienss. And I got a little pain in my side, over my judgemental-ness!

You would think I would learn! A few years ago KBYU sent a couple of students down to L.A. to interview some students participating in the affirmitive action movement in California public schools. I was taken out to dinner with a couple of multi-cultural students. We went to The Burbon Street Grill, (Yum!) I of course declined the beverages! A young man named Carlos told me of growing up on the streets and in the slumns of East L.A. He had a scar on his face, gangster attrire, and a lisp. As he told me of the struggles of poor, minoirty students getting into/through college, I felt cozy, and admittedly a little priviledged. We then talked literature. He was an English major at UCLA, on scholarship. I mentioned that I was studing English/Journalism, and had a love for literature as well. He proceeded to ask me if I had read this person and that, and I gulped in humility, as I realized that he had read 100 circles around me! I guess I was feeling not so much guilty about not having read as much as him, as I was feeling guilty at judging his intellegence by his racial idenity, economic status, and apparel. I didn't believe that at poor, gangster-like man could have read so much more than me. I was humbled, and I respected him, for his intellegence, and the drive he had to get into and succeed in college. It was a paradeim shifting experience for me, and even though I don't judge near as much as I used to, I still kick myself when I do.


Panini said...

Interesting thoughts. I'm definitely party to this...but I think a lot of it is because people do often put out what they are...
"What you look like [dress/grooming] is a projection of what's going on inside you."
cool experience

aquamarine said...

I kind of agree with both of you. Partly, yes, don't judge a book by its cover, because that can be a showing of outside circumstances playing upon that person. In those regards though, each individual is responsible for how they appear to those around them. The reason we have LDS standards of dress and comlyness.

That said, Esperanza that is an awesome experience, one of many I continually have being primary pres. I have to judge and not judge a person and their situation by how they look, etc. It gets sticky when my person biases come into the conclusion.