Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Is it always bad to judge a book by its cover?

If you're a reader like me, you look at two things to determine if you want to read a book: the title and the cover. If the title catches my eye, then I'm more compelled to look at the cover. If both seem interesting, then I'll take a look at the description of the book. If those two things aren't in sync, then chances are I won't read the book. So, in this example, I absolutely judge a book by its cover...but is that always bad?

When it comes to book reading, everyone is different, and there are some who may say that you should not base your decision to read a book solely on the cover. And that is actually true, because there are times when a book is recommended and/or given to me and I read it even if the cover is not something that catches my eye. And most of the time, I'm pleasantly surprised at the outcome...most of the time...

So, how does this apply to interpersonal relationships? As an Expat Teen, you have moved at least once and, in some cases, multiple times. Therefore, you may have a routine that you use when you are transitioning to a new place, and within this may include how you meet new people. So, what happens if you judge a new person by their first interactions with you? Can you always be sure that your first perception about a person is based on accurate information?

In our book, we received a submission from an Expat Teen who addresses this very issue. She writes, in part,

"...they judge me based on the way I look, the way I behave, and the way I speak. From my point of view, they are judging me by what they see and hear without trying to get to know me."

How many times have you heard the phrase, "What you see is what you get"? or "Seeing is believing"? How do those phrases "co-exist" with the concept of "Don't judge a book by its cover"? In a world where appearance and first impressions are weighed very heavily, it can be difficult to make the extra effort to look a little deeper. So, our challenge to you is to take the time to dig a little deeper. Challenge yourself to get to know other people, cultures, and traditions in a way that you may not have been able to do on previous assignments. Who knows? Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome...

For more information about this and other topics geared towards Expat Teenagers/Third Culture Kids, we invite you to check out our book, Expat Teens Talk, available on Amazon and at www.expatbookshop.com

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