He’s a Fraud!

stereotyping

“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.

 

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27 Responses to He’s a Fraud!

  1. Doobster418 says:

    I feel the same way you do, but I must admit that when I see someone who has covered his or her body with tattoos and has all kinds of piercings, I do jump to conclusions about them. I am not talking about those who have simple ear piercings or a few small, “tasteful” tats. I’m talking about extremes, like someone who is covered with tattoos and has piercings on eyebrows, noses, lips, and various body parts. To me it sends a message and it’s a message I just cannot comprehend.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Although I also don’t understand why people choose to do that, I have found that they are generally good people and intelligent too.I think it all boils down to what you said, “I just cannot comprehend.” It’s easy to judge people when we don’t understand why they do what they do.

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  2. stormy1812 says:

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s astounding to think of how much people miss out on due to stereotyping and prejudice. I think all people have some level of prejudice – it’s human nature I suppose but the difference comes in whether or not you allow that natural reaction to rule you or not. I agree with you also in terms of learning from others. That’s part of why I wanted to blog – was in hopes that I’d “meet” and interact with my readers and other bloggers to learn about the world and other perspectives through their eyes. The world is seen in so many different ways why would anyone want to miss out on that learning experience? I don’t get it. Here’s to hoping more minds will open with time.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I think you’re right about all of us having at least a portion of prejudice within us. In all fairness, it’s can be hard not to when specific situations keep reoccurring. However, as you said, it’s how we respond that matters. Do we overlook that first impression and look deeper, or do we walk away with an already made up mind?

      I agree with you about blogging. It is such an easy way of meeting new people and learning new perspectives. It’s similar to people watching, only a lot more detailed. What amazing people there are out there to learn from. We just have to willing to listen. Yes! Hopefully more people will learn to be more open minded.

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  3. In my early days on the internet (1997 or so) I “met” a stunningly beautiful Turkish man who was an actual Whirling Dervish. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

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  4. suzjones says:

    You summed it up in one word – fear. When we fear the unknown we make assumptions about it. Very sad, but unfortunately true.

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  5. Sammy D. says:

    Excellent post. I think it begins with ourselves. We can all talk about how other people are quick to judge or are close-minded, but I bet most of us could use a good long look in the mirror at the ways we might not be aware of our own judging and defining. It’s become so ingrained to characterize or label someone else, we don’t realize WE are doing it, too.

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  6. I am working on this more and more! Sometimes it is easier to see love in the people who are very different from us than those who are similar. Thank you for your piece!

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    • mewhoami says:

      I hadn’t thought of that, but you are absolutely right. Part of the reason for that could be that we see ourselves (the parts we dislike) in those who are similar to us. Those who are different don’t show us ‘us’. They show us a whole different world outside of us.

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  7. A great post. If only we all realised that the world would definitely be a better place. Blogging I do believe is actually taking some people part of the way there. This is a link to a video I put on my facebook page the other day that demonstrates exactly what you are saying.
    http://www.upworthy.com/a-man-falls-down-and-cries-for-help-twice-the-second-time-my-jaw-drops?g=2&c=ufb1

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    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you, Irene. I agree with you about blogging. On here we meet people every day that we never would have taken the time to meet otherwise.

      Wow…just watched the video. That’s terrible. It definitely demonstrates what I’m saying in this post. Such a shame. Thank you for sharing that.

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  8. Judgement reveals so much more about the person judging than the person being judged.

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  9. How right you are: “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.”. WHY would we want anyone to be just like us? I mean, there’s no fun or joy or excitement if we are the same. I liked this post. And the potential we would have for creating a better world if we all took responsibility for our behaviors towards others.

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  10. stacilys says:

    The old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” was invented for a reason.
    ” The exterior of a person is not always an accurate representation of who they are on the inside.”
    –here here to that. Sometimes we miss beauty because we don’t our eyes, not our hearts wide enough so we can see it.
    🙂

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  11. moi says:

    People judge, it is mainly that way, I know I’ve done it before, and ill probably do it again. It is difficult NOT to do even though I know it to be wrong. I think I have got better over the years though. I remember a friend and I went to a pub in London, there was one table free. I “claimed” the table by putting my beer glass on it at exactly the same time as this massive dude.

    Long hair, tattoos, big framed, would snap me it two (and Im over 6ft tall) hard set face. he was with his girl who dressed like a rocker, she had tats too. We all got talking, they were out on their anniversary, we had a great laugh, my mate and i bought them a drink to celebrate their anniversary, great evening lol.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I like your story. That goes to show that just because someone looks like they could rip you to pieces, doesn’t mean they will. It’s often those people who are the kindest. They have an unexpected kindness, one that so many people miss out on because they feel intimidated. I’m glad you guys gave this couple a chance to show you what kind of people they truly were.

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  12. Great lesson – but I want more of the gossip! LOL! I want to know what background she has assigned him!
    Yes, I’m totally that shallow today! 🙂

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  13. You know that song…”Signs, signs, everywhere a sign”? The opening line is:
    “Long hair freaky people need not apply,
    so I put my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why.
    He said you look like a fine, upstanding young man I think you’ll do…
    so I took off my hat and said imagine that! ME working for you?”
    It is hard not to judge the proverbial book by the cover…but we shouldn’t! However, people do give off a “vibe” and THAT is something we should pay attention to. Has very little to do with what they look like, what they have on or whether or not they are covered in tats. This kind of goes along with your post from today too….careful judging others, It is not our place nor I job.. It may just be YOU that someone draws the wrong conclusions about…. 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. If we judge others, they will be sure to judge us. People do give off vibes though, and we need to pay attention to that lest we fall into a dangerous situation. It doesn’t mean that what we feel about them upon first impression is accurate either. We still must give them a chance, if of course we are not endangering ourselves by doing so. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  14. April says:

    While I don’t typically judge others, I’m an expert at judging myself. I, like you, love meeting people of all types–they all have a story to tell, and can teach us different ways to think of things. I used to contain myself in a bubble of indifference, and that wasn’t who I was–or who I am. My husband took the time to see through that bubble, I wish there were more like him. While blogging has helped me to pop that bubble, there are people who are still in my life who have always known the girl in the bubble, and can’t accept that I am a person inside that bubble, and I have had the ability to get rid of it.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Although I think that we be overly harsh when it comes to judging ourselves, at least we are able to and then work on making the changes afterward. It’s good that your husband was able to see you for you, to look within the bubble. It’s sad that some people place limits on others, in their minds.

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