Growing up, in school we all have learnt the famous proverb “Never Judge a Book by its Cover”. It was indeed a very insightful thought. However our tiny minds couldn’t fathom the intensity of the same.
Tiny tots as we were, we kept wondering what difference did the cover of a book make, whether it was brown paper, white paper or even calendar paper. Or as we grew much older, a paper-back or a hard-back. After all, a book was a book right?
As our brains advanced, we realized that all those teachers ever meant was, no matter how tattered or bad or probably good the situation of the book was from the outside it was what was on the inside that was of great importance and meaning.
It was not about how the outside defined the inside, but how the inside truly defined the outside.
After all, a learned man is the one who has gained a lot of knowledge in his life. Obviously we know from where he got this knowledge, it’s the books that he has spent a great amount of time reading.
I also remember my younger days when I was handed over a children’s bible, a hardback one, pretty tattered from the outside, because obviously it had travelled through many young hands like mine, but what was of importance was the teachings of the Bible which has shaped me into who I am today.
As I always reflected back on this famous proverb, it hit me as I grew older and interacted with species like me that I realized the even deeper meaning of this proverb, which lead to my conclusion that never judge a human by its cover.
You may wonder as to what connection a book may have with a human being, after all, one is inanimate and the other an animate being. But look closely, are we not just like the saying?
You meet people for the first time, and based on their attire, their behavior, and their looks, you draw up their personality and start describing them. However when you get to know them personally more and more, you realize that they are not like the personality you thought them to be at the first instance.
The biggest example that comes to my mind right now is Bill Gates. Who doesn’t know him, one of the richest persons in the world, the reason why I can type my post on Word today. But one who has studied him or googled him would know what a great philanthropist he is.
So if I had to judge him by his cover, I would probably say, yeah he is a rich dude who has all that he ever desired of or dreamt of, but it’s only when I try to know about him I would realize what a great man he is indeed.
Or let’s take the case of Mother Teresa, she was an ordinary young girl like me, who took to God’s calling and became a nun. She always dressed as simple as possible, but we know all the good deeds she did. She left a mark on all of us to realize the true importance in life, i.e. humanity overrules religion.
How ironical it is that a person who works hard day and night at his well-paid job, is burdened with EMI’s to pay for that lovely flat that he calls home, and the car that gives him that extra edge. But a beggar who calmly sleeps on the footpath begs all day but many a times as we know have more than enough wealth than the person who has roof that he calls his own.
There have been times, when I have seen some people extremely happy from the outside, but on a deeper knowing of them, I have realized how torn they are from the inside. Vice versa is of people who show they are sad but from the inside they are actually the happiest and the most content.
Just remember, no matter how and what you are from the inside, the outside is all a facade, a mystery that only you know.
They say life is the best teacher you can have and indeed it is, after all it thought me never to judge a human by its cover.