People who are alike dress alike: clothing and appearance is one of those identifying marks as sure as people who wear Girl Scout uniforms are more than likely Girl Scouts and people wearing McDonald’s uniforms more than likely work at McDonald’s.
I told some women the other day when I perform poetry I usually wear black with perhaps a colorful scarf near my face as an accent. I don’t normally wear a beret, although many people associate berets and poets. Add some bongo drums and snapping fingers and the stereotype is complete.
I can’t imagine some of my favorite poets donning black or a beret or carrying bongos when they read poetry.
Like so many other times, sweep judgments don’t work.
You can’t look at a scraggly guy and think, “He must be homeless,” when in fact, he may be an eccentric millionaire. You can’t look at the statuesque, well coiffed woman and assume she is a successful newscaster because she may be an out of work model looking for a gig whose only food yesterday was a can of tuna.
Look at yourself a moment.
What do you look like?
I’ll share what I look like this morning. You make your judgment AND I am not sharing a photo.
I look like a tired Mommy who is recovering from melanoma surgery. My black polo style dress with grey pants underneath say I value comfort. Yesterday my friend complimented the waves in my hair and I replied, “This is called wash and run out the door.” She assumed I ‘made my hair look that way’. Genes made my hair look that way. If you look closely at my hands you will notice my nails have been shortened by a nervous habit and my melanoma wound has been dressed today, but not covered, and somehow right there – within the scar itself - a double heart has formed.
What would you judge about me by “seeing” this picture?
Yesterday I attended a SoulCollage workshop and for some crazy reason I made eight cards in one afternoon. It was interesting because some people only made three cards, some made five and several of us made eight.
There is no rhyme or reason for it.
Several of the cards are sticking with me today.
This card (see it on the left) said to me, “I am one who collaborates with many sorts of ‘others’ – both those who look like me, talk like me, walk like me and those who don’t do any of that. When I stay open to collaborating with a variety of eclectic people, I find my greatest happiness and the wildest success.”
How many times do we look at people and immediately make a judgment?
She is too fat, he is too lanky, she doesn’t look very smart, I abhor that band on his t-shirt, Oh, I can’t work with people who were a t-shirt and jeans, can’t he at least wear khakis and a polo?
Perhaps these scenes aren’t exactly what you find and I am sure you hear yourself saying something like this.
What do people judge about seeing “your” picture?
Are these insta-flash judgers the people you want to be your friends?
Notice your snap judgments today and consciously snap out of them. Better yet, I dare you to initiate even the smallest conversation with a person you would never have spoken to in the past. The conversation may be your one-sided, “Good morning!” Quality and length don’t matter today: being open to different sorts of people is what matters.
The next surprise person you are open to may be filled with delicious surprises. Best of all, you may be someone elses delicious surprise.
This blog post was inspired by a prompt from BlogFest2012. Today's was written by Paula Martin: read her prompt and her "Judging a Book by It's Cover".
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.
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