“Don’t judge a book by its cover”

The long-awaited Jan 2021 finally arrived with bash and much wishful thinking that perhaps this year will bring good health, happiness, and relief from this confinement at home due to pandemic. I am sure, we all had made resolutions, goals to change our old habits, plans to accept new norms, improve old ways of working, and living merrily. I too made my goals and one of them is to read voraciously. I always think, there is so much to learn and so little time to soak up the knowledge floating around in this world. With determination and hope, on very 2nd day of New year 2021, I went to the library to pick some books. I did not have anything specific in my mind moreover I believe in reading different genres of the book by different authors and not necessarily famous only. I wanted to scan through the shelves of libraries, read the synopsis of books, and decide my picks of the day. I was excited and quite charged up as it was a new year, and I took my first step successfully by visiting the library.

After spending, hours, going through the various sections in libraries eventually, I decided on a few reads for a month. One of the books on “Emotions” caught my eye. It had quite an impressive cover page, frontispiece, and captivating summary behind the cover page. It was enough to attract me to pick this book and read it. I was happy with my decision because I wanted to read about emotions and how to control them. I never thought any book can be written on such a difficult topic and after I saw this one, I was feeling triumphant. I was back home satisfied and was looking forward to finishing my reads. The book I selected on “Emotions” was on my mind. I flipped through pages and read a few phrases here and there. I found them quite insightful. On Wednesday evening, I finished my dinner, made a cup of hot coffee, and started reading this book with complete interest. I read a couple of pages and after reading for 30 minutes my excitement vanished and I was not able to absorb anything from this book. Nothing was making sense to me and it turned out this book was not what I was looking for. It did not meet my expectations. Well, someone has rightly said, do not judge the book by its cover well I would tweak it, “Don’t pick a book by seeing its cover”. I should have done some more research before selecting this book. The book might be outstanding for someone but not relevant to me by any means.

In our life, many times, it happens when we get attracted to someone in the first meeting & start liking that person or it can be another way around, we may dislike him too. In both cases, we need not be so Judgmental and build our expectations very high or so low. Looks are deceptive and you need to spend some time understanding, researching, and discerning that person or that thing before you firm your opinion.

Let me share another story from the past where I was fooled by looks and realized my mistake. I was in Senior high school, a very bright, A-grade student. My ranking was in the top three always and I was very proud of my academic achievements. In the final year, a new student joined our Senior class. I and my friends, we all were amazed as usually in the last final year, nobody changes the school. It can be alarming for your grades in board exams. Moreover, it is very difficult to build new friends and relations in the last year of school and as per my logic, only a fool would do that unless there is an emergency. It was the first day of physics class for this new student. I made my opinion about him as a loser and as someone who is not so much into studies. He was short heighted, rugged unkempt looks, curly short hairs and he wore a yellow-white shirt instead of bright white, the color of our uniform. Even the color of his trouser was faded blue instead of stark blue. I thought how come he or his parents did not have time to wash his clothes. Well, I had no interest in knowing him as I was sure, he was nowhere in my competition. I got busy with my studies and moved on with book worming. The sad part was, I did not even try to befriend him. I did not want to waste my precious time, talking to a careless student who could not even dress properly for school. A weak passed and our physics teacher started a new topic in class. Before moving onto a new topic, he wanted to brush up on an old one that was Mass & Acceleration. He gave us a short quiz, to be solved in 15 minutes. Most of us could not do it because the questions were tricky. The only student in class who could solve was that “New student”. He did not only solve the physics quiz but also challenged our teacher as one of the questions he gave was wrong. I was amazed to see his confidence and subject matter expertise. The whole class was silent and only two people were discussing and arguing- one that “new Student” and the other was the teacher. Finally, our Physics teacher gave up on his reasoning and logic. We all cheered for him and his logical arguments to derive the right answer, later. At, that moment, he won all my respect, and I was embarrassed to think so low about him. He remained the star student of our Senior year and came first in class. It was quite a deep learning for me in my growing years that looks can be deceiving as someone has rightly said “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

In both the stories, I have learned from my experience that it is imperative to spend some time to understand the unknown. That could be a book or a person or any other thing in this world. Just by reading a title or the way someone looks, you cannot conclude anything. I was wrong for that book thinking this is the answer to all my questions on emotions. In a few seconds, after reading the title, I developed a huge expectation from this book without even knowing about the author or any other details of the book. When reality stroked after I read few chapters, I was disappointed. It is certainly not a substandard book while a wrong choice by me. Similarly, I made certain assumptions about that boy based on his looks and was not even friendly to him in the beginning. It was quite rude of me to go by appearance and make a viewpoint on others. It was a good slap on my face when he proved his mettle in physics class. This is the bitter reality of this world, what shines gets the utmost attention. However, from my learning I would say, don’t get carried away by the title of the book or by anyone’s appearance, give some time to understand, explore before you make your opinion.

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