How many times in a month or even in a day do we “judge” a person by their outward appearance before we really can get to know them?
Of course there are some people that we can get a pretty good idea of, but so often, we are too quick to judge.
I judged two particular people too soon before I really got to know them, and by the time I realized what kind of person they were, it was too late.
The first person I judged was an older man named Keith (not his real name). I was first introduced to him while I worked elections and every time, he came in to vote he was a bit loud and a tad annoying. Needless to say, I didn’t like him very much due to the hard time he gave everyone when he came in to vote.
And how he acted at elections was just his personality, so now instead of dreading his visits, I looked forward to them. I was too quick to judge and didn’t take the time to look past the cover of the book.
But then I got to know this man on a whole different level. Mom and I began volunteering at our local meals-on-wheels site and he was one of our delivery drivers. We saw him twice a week instead of three times a year and I discovered that he was the nicest, funniest, most caring and helpful guy you could come across.
I was too quick to judge another man I got to know while also working at meals-on-wheels.
His name was Mike (Not his real name). Mike also volunteered a bit around the site, and he was in a word, unkempt. His hair was long and wild looking along with his beard and he had the smell of too many cigarettes. I tried to stay clear of him because of his looks and smell.
But the one thing I did see right away was he was super nice, very soft spoken and always willing to help. His appearance and how he acted were completely opposite.
It was after a few months of working that I learned something about him that somewhat explained a lot.
He was a Vietnam Vet, he was willingly served his country and instead of gratitude and thanks for what he had done, he was treated very badly as many Vietnam vets were. I softened toward him knowing what he had been through, and instead of avoiding him, I got to know him lot better.
One of his favorite things was chocolate milk. Mom and I would buy him chocolate milk and take it to his apartment. He was always so happy and thankful every time we brought it to him. We could not fix what he had been through, but we could show him some kindness and some thanks for what he had done.
Both of these men, opposite in personality, and I judged them way too quickly. It was just a little over a year of getting to know Keith that he passed away unexpectedly. Mike too passed away a not too long after Keith. I was extremely sad that I didn’t get to know them sooner.
Two amazing men, I judged way too quickly. Don’t miss an opportunity to get to know someone.
Maybe they are messy or loud, but really, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, they just may surprise you.