“He’s the biggest fraud around here”, my neighbor said as she shook her head in frustration. She was speaking of another neighbor of ours who lives a few houses down. In the six years that I’ve known him, I’ve yet to see him try to deceive anyone. So, what made her accuse him of being a fraud?
What about him is threatening to her? Is it the color of his skin, his background, or how he chooses to live? The real question is, does she know him well enough to accurately make that type of accusation? Most likely not.
People see others who are unlike them, and it makes them uncomfortable and sometimes afraid. They don’t understand them or their mannerisms, so they judge them and place them into a predesignated category. Unfortunately, that’s the end for most of them. They walk away without ever giving the person a chance to prove them wrong.
Imagine how much different this world would be, if we took the time to get to know these people, instead of instantly judging them. Everyone has a story to tell and no two stories are alike.
A person should never be categorized by what they wear, where they live or how they speak. Sometimes circumstances have a cruel way of placing people in situations where they would normally not be. You’ll never who a person truly is, until you take the time to get to know them.
I’ve always found it to be highly fascinating to talk with people who are unlike me, whether it be a ‘thug’ on the street or a fellow blogger. It’s amazing how we can meet people who have different perspectives on life, and very different backgrounds, but still manage to become friends. The reason that this is possible, is because we are able to look past those differences and see the person within.
That’s what it’s all about. Seeing the person within. The exterior of a person is not always an accurate representation of who they are on the inside. They may be soft and pliable, or rigid and tough on the outside, but who is the person within? That’s what we must find out.
That neighbor of mine (the fraud) is a wonderful man. He does have a tough demeanor about him, but that’s because of how he grew up. He needed that toughness in order to survive. That’s all it is, a protective covering. He has a big heart, and sincerely cares about others and their safety. He’s a good man.
Unfortunately, because he came from a different background than my neighbor, he’s seen as a fraud. What’s worse, is that false reputation that she has given him, has caused others to see him that same way. Sadly, that scenario happens to people every day.
When will we stop accepting other people’s judgements as our own? Granted, there are some bad apples in every demographic, but generally most people are good.
Each individual deserves the chance to be seen for who they truly are. Why should we not give them that chance? What makes them so different than us? We all bleed red, and although our life story may be different than theirs, they have a story too.
Why limit yourself only to those people who are similar to you? How will you ever learn different perspectives, or appreciate those whose lives are more difficult than your own?
There’s a whole world of people out there, each one with a different story to share, and a valuable lesson to teach.
You shouldn’t be afraid to step out and meet them. When you do, you may be amazed at what you discover.