You know what people like to do nowadays?
We all judge – and I don’t mean here the wrong kind of evil judging, though in all fairness, that happens far often more that there’s the need to.
I’m talking more here about this weird thing where you form an opinion about someone, mostly about strangers, based only on the few moments – sometimes even seconds – of their day you’ve been a witness to.
It doesn’t make much sense to you, does it?
I’ve reached the conclusion after spending a fair amount of time on a bus. (FYI, I hate buses).
So there we are, crammed like fishies in a can – a popular saying in Macedonian – and we are all either staring like crazy on our smartphones or looking like crazy if we don’t. *Reading an actual newspaper – have you gone mad dear?*
Now, smartphones nowadays are pretty big and even if you don’t want to, you still get to see – with the corner of your eye – what the person next to you is doing.
And it horrified me when I realized how quick I am to judge others by what they’re looking, scrolling or in some cases, reading.
It’s like – A-ha! The girl in front of me is chatting with her boyfriend – she probably doesn’t do much anyways. (She might be a busy working woman, for all I know – and this might be her only free hour of the day to talk to her loved ones.)
Or – LOL! Look at the guy next to her, what type of person does online quizzes? (He probably had a long day at work and WANTS to know what type of cheese he is – Mozzarella it is!)
Then, I take a look at my screen and well, what can I say – team Fluffy Monsters is still going strong, thank you very much.
If we follow my logic here, I don’t leave much of an impression on the bus either, huh?
*I get motion sick if reading on that particular route*
A while back, I wrote a post about judging books by their covers – and I still stand behind the fact that book covers matter.
But my quick – and often times, wrong – impressions on others reminded me that we, humans, like to form opinions about others based solely on the choices people make when it comes to how they spend their free time.
We judge the music others listen to, the movies they watch and – the books they read.
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t certain implications about a person’s character following the choices they make regarding those areas – but can you really judge someone’s whole personality altogether based on what they decide to do with their free time?
Can you really tell what anyone is like as a person merely on the book that you’ve seen them with – a book they chose to spend a minor fraction of their life on?
For instance, while I really enjoy reading both fiction & non-fiction history and psychology, I wouldn’t mind reading the occasional chick-lit novel – as long as it’s funny – in the nearest café with a pink smoothie as large as my head – does that make me plain?
On the other hand, I read plenty of books – both online & offline – regarding business & entrepreneurship – and they’re right next to the Harry Potter Complete Collection 7 Books Set Collection J.K.Rowling Hardback Red by Unbranded series on my shelf.
So who am I really? You’d easily make four different impressions about me if you saw me reading four completely different books on four completely different occasions.
But at the end of the day, I’m me, same as the fact that you are you and everyone is well… everyone.
And yet, while I and you and everyone else are aware of the things I’ve said so far, we still – silently! – judge if someone chooses to read Me Before You rather than A Brief History of Time.
Even if they do choose to read A Brief History of Time – how dare they read that on the beach while sipping cocktails? *horrified shriek!*
Why don’t they do some light reading – take Me Before You, you’re on holiday, damn it!
See my point here?
Next time you see someone reading something in public, don’t be hasty to judge their reading choices in your mind – especially not if you don’t even know them, nor their story, nor how their day is going so far.
Instead, give them a smile – at least they choose to do some reading, unlike many.
Next time, let’s talk about what you can do when you can’t find anything to read! Is there something YOU would like me to write about? If so, drop us a comment and I’ll try to include it in some of my future posts!