We are always thought to never judge a book by its cover. It’s one of those childhood lessons that’s right up there with never talking to strangers. Yet, judging a book by its cover is something we probably all do from time to time, and I mean that in the literal sense as well as in our daily lives towards people we meet. We live in such a fast paced, instantaneous society where first impressions and snap judgements are rife that we have forgotten to not just pick up the book but to read the introduction, the first few chapters and maybe even the whole thing before deciding what we think.
The easy thing to do is to look at the outside perception, the home someone lives in, the car they drive or the clothes they wear. The easy thing to do is to stick by the first judgement you made of someone that may have been true then but could be vastly out of date now disallowing for any personal growth or change. Perhaps you had merit to dislike someone in the past for behaviour towards you or someone you know but maybe, just maybe, that person has realised their errors.
Giving people a chance is so important and often the more you learn about people the easier it becomes to understand them and why they are the way they are. That insight is invaluable and sometimes the more pages of that person’s story you turn, the more appreciation you might find yourself having for them. You will find, that in most cases you have been proved wrong and that’s okay too because at the end of the day we’re all human and none of us are, or will be, perfect. Ever. We do make mistakes but as long as we’re willing to correct those errors and admit to them then we can move on.
In saying all this, I’m still a strong advocate for trusting your gut and I think the key is balance. Sometimes your gut is right and your first impression could be accurate, spot on even, but still.. always scratch the surface enough to KNOW that your instinct is right. Otherwise, you could be making a completely wrong judgement on someone who could have nothing but good things to offer.
Recent months have reawakened this childhood lesson for me. I have learned things about people I thought I knew and it turns out in some cases I was wrong. Some people had a lot more substance to them than I initially thought. It opened my eyes to the fact that although I trust my instincts sometimes there is more to people than meets the eye and this is something I will bring with me going forward to 2017. Everyday is a learning curve.