Judge by external appearance

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“One should never judge a person by external appearance.”


Appearance has always been important to human beings. It`s the first thing we see and notice, and makes the first impression we get when we meet a new person. If this person for example wears heavy makeup, has a lot of tattoos or always has her hair up in a very tight bun this immediately gives us an impression of who this person is and how their personality may be. But is it right to judge someone only based on their external appearance? Is it possible to avoid doing so?


If you told me that you never judge anyone before you have talked to them, I wouldn`t believe you. I think everyone judges by appearance, intentionally or not. One example is if you have lost track of where you are and need to ask someone for directions. If you have a choice you won`t ask the man in a leather jacket standing by his old shabby car, but rather the girl in her twenties heading for her bike. Why? You have already judged them by appearance. Most likely the man is just as nice as the girl but based on how they look you thought something else.


However, our first impressions are often correct. For instance I was on vacation with my family and a couple other families in February. One of the kids I got to know had dreadlocks and my first thought based on his appearance was “he must be playing in a band.” And I was right! As I thought, he was studying music in high school and playing guitar in a band. Incidents like this tell us that often people dress and adjust their appearance to reflect what they do and who they want to be. Sometimes you can`t be yourself and have to customize your appearance to the situation, job etc. So if you`re a lawyer you can`t wear shorts and a t-shirt even if that is what you would prefer.


But even though external appearance can tell us a bit about a person, what is behind the surface is the most important and may be something totally different. Many people have handicaps or flaws, more or less visible, that they can never change and that has nothing to do with their personalities. For instance Napoleon who was short, rarely described as very good looking and often bullied when young, is now one of the most known men through history. Many people may not look fancy but have a big heart and a great personality if you get to know them.


So in conclusion external appearance may give us a good first impression but never the whole personality. Or as Mother Teresa said;


“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

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