Of course, we’re all familiar with the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In fact, most parents have probably taught that lesson in some form or fashion to their children in order to guard them against the danger of stereotyping based on appearances.
However, even as adults, it’s surprisingly easy to fail to adhere to that in daily life, especially when our default mode is to make snap judgments based on what we see.
As many sadly do, one Washington mother fell into the stereotyping trap in a local grocery store when she noticed her daughter staring at a dirty man in the checkout line. After first instructing her little girl to stop staring, she then proceeded to whisper “that is why you need to stay in school” as they headed toward the exit.
It just so happened that what the judgmental woman perceived as a “teachable” moment for her daughter about the importance of education ended up being a life lesson that she got ‘schooled‘ on.
Andy Ross — the dirty man in question — couldn’t help but overhear the condescending comment.
The college-educated, medically-certified, business-owning, hardworking father and fiancé, had a few items worthy of note that totally busted the mindless assumption made about him based on his tatted arms and dirty face.
“I figured it was a great time to educate this mother and her 7/8 year old daughter,” said Andy Ross, who relayed the conversation he had in a viral Facebook post that has since been shared over 160,000 times:
It turns out, Andy cleans up pretty good. And the Internet fell in love with his quick-witted humor combined with hard-hitting truth.
Hundreds of people rallied around him in the comments to offer support and share their own similar stories.
All the praise to this hardworking young man for giving us a much-needed reminder that our outer shell is no indication of the person the inside.
If we all take the time to dig a little deeper than skin surface, we might just be surprised at the beauty we find in strangers.