The cover of a Book

We never look at the inside of a book without checking out the cover first. It’s a mistake, we’re told, because a wonderful story could be waiting to be opened and shared. But, much as we’d like to think we are above the petty judgements, we all do it.

But I’m not talking about the books to be found at the bookstore, library or coffee table, but rather the overweight woman sitting too close for comfort on the plane, the man who glanced up as you passed wearing grubby clothes; the youth that never seems to have anything to smile about. There isn’t an instant when the periphery of our vision doesn’t make a split second decision on a passer by. Some people are easy to be attracted to, and there are those that we decide are deserving of our mild animosity because it’s not what we were told is good, or right, or proper, when in the big scheme of things, our critical thoughts have little value at all. Yet more than that: we don’t look at their circumstance, and we aren’t looking at their hearts. It’s so easy to judge the book when the title just reads “Tattoo”, but when we think of the meaning of the word, it’s just an image embedded into the skin with ink; that, and nothing more.  “Homosexual” shouts AIDS faster than it takes time to think, and “Christian” spells close the door before you’re witnessed to with hellfire and brimstone.

We all judge out of ignorance and intollerance, much as we like to think we refrain from that kind of behaviour, and I wonder if we could listen to their hearts, perhaps we’d stop to look inside the book without disdaining over the cover. There’s no book worth looking at that isn’t picked up; and that includes US…

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