North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

April 26, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: Much lost when judging books by covers

COMMENTARY — Would you consider yourself a judgemental person? Some people embrace the fact that they judge every book by its cover, and they think they are good at it.

Sadly, until the last few weeks, I was that kind of person. I put a mark on everyone I saw, and my first impressions stuck until they made me change my mind. This sounds like an attribute of a horrible person. But if we are all being honest here, most people do the exact same thing — they just aren’t as open with it.

How many people have we let slip through our lives and never gotten to know them, just because of what we’ve heard about them or because of what we think we know about them?

Sometimes, the rumors may be true. That girl may really be a gossip who is constantly stirring up trouble, but she may also be a person who said too much one time and the name stuck with her.

Yes, that guy may really be an alcoholic, but isn’t there more to a man or woman than the addictions that have them bound? Don’t we all have addictions in one form or another that we are dealing with? So what if your addiction is something that can be easily hidden, and their addiction is something that they choose to wear on their sleeves? Is it that much of a difference between a drug addict who can’t stop his habit and makes constant bad choices to get the fix they need at the time, or the office space pill popper who takes just as many drugs, but they were prescribed from a doctor?

Is there not a person in both of these scenarios? Aren’t the drug addict and the pill popper still people? They hurt, they cry, they laugh, they love — addictions don’t make people quit being people. They may cloud their judgements and make them not act themselves, but the real person is still in them, wanting to get out.

So the next time you see that person who you know has issues — you know, the one you’ve been avoiding conversations with at church for months so that you don’t get tangled up in their lives, or the neighbor who desperately needs a friend right now, but is facing more issues than you care to tackle — remember that behind those problems is a person.

And yes, your issue may be nicer to look at than theirs, but don’t write them off because they have issues.

People deserve a chance, whether we think so or not. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. After being quite the judgemental person, it was a hard awakening to see that maybe my judgements were skewed. Maybe, just maybe, I couldn’t tell every book by the cover.

From this week forward I choose to give people a chance, not just let my first impressions rule my mind about them. This is a hard lesson to learn, because it’s so much easier to block people out of our lives than to let them in. It’s nicer to keep the pretty things close and push the ugly things away — but we could turn the tables.

What if people pushed you away because of every ugly thing in your life? What if your life could bring beauty to someone else’s ugly situation? You can’t be someone else’s savior, but you can point them to the Savior.

If you don’t give people a chance, you are not only short-changing them, you might be missing out on a lot yourself. Keep yourself open to people, let them get into your inner circle.

Pour into people’s lives, and you might be surprised at what you get out of it.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Bass fishing is just in my blood

    I was born the daughter of a fisherman. My dad was the pastor of a local church and the manager at various Jefferson County Waste Water Treatment plants, but anyone who knows him, knows he is a fisherman at heart.

    July 21, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Making memories not that hard

    Do you spoil your kids? Do you spend enough on them? What really matters when it comes to the well-being of your children? These questions are real doozies and I think the answers vary according to the family.

    July 9, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Graduation leads to hard decisions

    The caps and gowns are ordered, the invitations have been mailed. Checks are being written all across the country, it must be graduation time.

    May 29, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Longevity in marriage still possible

    I have officially seen it with my own eyes. I have witnessed it with my own life. Yes, I have seen a couple who has been married 60 years and still love each other. Even more than that, they still respect each other and still genuinely love to be around each other.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: ‘Girl in the front’ loves her job

    I’m 33 years old. Yes, I just admitted that. The reason I throw this fact out there so freely is that I have now, officially, been working for the North Jefferson News for over 10 years. That’s right, almost 1/3 of my life has been spent behind this desk. (And yes, I’ve had the same desk all 10 years.)

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: What memories are you leaving?

    Death hurts. It hurts when it hits close to home and it hurts when it hits the people who are closest to you.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Life is precious from the beginning

    The media is all abuzz this week over the story of a woman who apparently gave birth to seven babies in the last 10 years without anyone’s knowledge, then killed her babies and stored them in boxes in her garage.

    April 24, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Royal Wedding Live