Never Judge a Book By Its Cover
First impressions are not always true. The old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover” is an ageless piece of sound advice. I, like everyone else, have judged people too quickly, only to realize in time that I was completely mistaken.
My most profound experiences of this kind have been from working as a caregiver with many mentally challenged individuals over the years. I was often pleasantly surprised by how deep they can be if you just give them a chance, and to watch and ‘listen’.
One particularly challenging woman I took care of was angry all the time, angry at the world, angry about her circumstances. She was angry with her son, angry with her neighbors, angry with … everybody! It was difficult not to let her first impression impact me. I had to step aside of myself, and get to know her story.
She had once been “normal”, had gone to school and had even finished high school. She started to suffer from seizures, developed brain damage, and was never the same after that.
As a result, she was confined to a wheelchair had to be helped in and out of bed, to the toilet, with her baths. She had to be dressed, undressed, have her meal times decided for her, her events planned for her, since she could no longer do any of these things on her own. Her speech was slurred and sometimes difficult to understand. She was placed in a residential home where she received 24-hour assistance.
But, catch her on a rare ‘good’ day, and, oh boy, she could tell you some stories! A lot of them were made up, but nonetheless, they were very interesting. She loved music and loved to watch symphonies. She talked about past loves and different things from her childhood. She talked about her parents a lot.
Then, a moment later, something would trigger her negative emotions again and she hated the world once more, and you too, just because you were in it. It was hard to take some days, believe me!
A lot of people just thought of her as “nasty”. I have to admit that she wasn’t always pleasant to be around! She pushed a lot of people’s buttons and ruffled a lot of feathers, and was not particularly liked, sadly.
But for some reason, she was usually pretty good with me. She would soften up when I was with her, or I had some influence over her where I could redirect her and calm her down.
For all that so-called nastiness, though, what broke through that facade for me was one day when she told me she loved me. She said that she thought I was the only one that didn’t hate her, and that of all the people around who took care of her, I was her favorite.
The moral of this story is, that the cover of that book was cold and angry and “nasty”. But I gave the inside story a chance and what I found was an unfortunate lost soul, just looking for some tenderness. She needed someone to be willing to at least take the time to look inside. And for that short period in her life, I was lucky enough to be the one. That first impression turned into a pretty good story after all.
In memory of Ms. K. Thanks for the memories and life’s lessons.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you’ve enjoyed this video and these lyrics, please share.
And remember … Speak kind to a stranger, cause you never know …
Seize the Day – Daily Motivational Quote[seize-the-day]
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