Something for you to ponder on

Posted: November 16, 2012 by Nell in Dating, Self Help/ Motivation
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As human beings we tend to judge using our eyes often. When someone is in front of us we usually stereotype them in some form and come to a conclusion about them within minutes and sometimes seconds. In most cases they don’t have to utter one word out of their mouths. We depend on our vision more than our ears. I have a couple of short stories that I want to share with you. I just want you to ponder on the way we have been conditioned to judge people and how sometimes we make the worst decisions by using our vision. 

20/20 

On a crowded local train one day there was a tall brown complected black man sitting in a seat reading a copy of XXL magazine. He wore a pair of original Air Jordan 9’s. His shoes were worn out. They were visibly dirty with blue paint marks, and the soles of the shoes were coming apart. His pants were not in the same bad shape as his sneakers and neither was his shirt. The train stopped at the next station and on comes an attractive woman wearing high heels and a nice fitted dress displaying her curves. Her hair was in a long pony tail and she wore designer shades as well as a bag. The only open seat on the train was next to the guy reading the magazine. She looked down at his shoes and decided not to sit next to him. He got up and offered her his seat, but she still declined. They ended up getting off the train at the same station. The man found the woman attractive and he decided to approach her. He said “Hello, my name is Jeff, how are you today?” She gave him the cold shoulder, ignored him, and continued to walk away. The man laughed to himself as he walked away in the opposite direction.

[The Background on the two] The woman is Sonia Littles. A 26-year-old single female who recently got out a bad relationship a year ago. She works at a local bank as a teller and shares an apartment with her former college roommate. Her desires are a man who’s financially stable, physically attractive, intelligent, and successful. She also wants a man who has a good family background. She complains to her friends often about there not being any qualified single men in the dating market. She believes most guys she encounters are not good enough for her. Her expectations are set high so she can meet the man of her dreams. Most of Sonia’s friends refer to her as high maintenance  but she’s not. She just has “high expectations” according to her. Her previous relationship has forced her to have her guard up and if any man approaches her without meeting her visual expectations, she rejects them or simply ignores them.

The man is Jeff Templeton. His father is the owner of Templeton Engineering firm, one of the largest firms in the country. Jeff graduated with a MBA from Howard University. Jeff is a single 27-year-old who’s ready for a relationship. His previous relationship wasn’t a bad one like Sonia’s, but he and his girlfriend decided to split because she moved overseas and they wanted to focus on their careers instead. Jeff has been single for 2 years. He’s a family guy who comes from a great family. He is the President of Templeton Engineering.  Jeff is considered to be a very open-minded guy and is simply desires a woman whose full of life and enjoyment. Jeff has no kids, although a kid has something to do with Jeff’s Air Jordans having paint on them.

Jeff had paint on his shoes  because he just got done painting a room for his pregnant sister’s baby. He decided to ride the train that day because he wanted to get a feel of riding through the city on a nice beautiful summer day. He occasionally does this in his free team to get a feeling of nostalgia from riding the train through the city in High School. His pants and shirt had no paint on them because he wore white overalls over his clothing while painting. He was reading XXL magazine because he’s a lover of Hip Hop. His Air Jordans were old because who would want to paint in well conditioned sneakers?

Now that we know the background of these two individuals, lets dig into the reasoning behind Sonia’s reaction to Jeff.

Sonia is an occasional train rider. She parks her car at the local train station and rides the train to and from work because it spares her gas as well as time. Sonia often tells her friends about different guys who occasionally approaches her while on the train. She brags about how often she rejects these guys and tells her friends that her standards are too high to date a guy who rides the train, because it’s usually their only form of transportation. On the day Jeff approached her, she thought he was physically attractive, but the fact he was riding the train and wore horrible conditioned sneakers led her to believe that Jeff similar to the guys she often rejects on the train. The XXL magazine led her to believe that he was a guy who was interested in Hip Hop more than having a successful career. She’s not interested in those type of guys. She stereotyped Jeff, and although she thought he was physically attractive her stereotype forced her to ignore Jeff.

20/20 Hindsight

Had Sonia known who Jeff was and what he was about she would have gave him all of her time that day. He’s exactly the type of man she’s been waiting on to approach her. For 20/20 Hindsight lets say she’s aware of who Jeff is from seeing him on local commercials for his engineering firm. This is how Sonia would have reacted in hindsight:

On a crowded local train one day there was a tall brown complected black man sitting in a seat reading a copy of XXL magazine. He wore a pair of original Air Jordan 9’s. His shoes were worn out. They were visibly dirty with blue paint marks, and the soles of the shoes were coming apart. His pants were not in the same bad shape as his sneakers and neither was his shirt. The train stopped at the next station and on comes an attractive woman wearing high heels and a nice fitted dress displaying her curves. Her hair was in a long pony tail and she wore designer shades as well as a bag. The only open seat on the train was next to the guy reading the magazine. She looked down at his shoes and decided to sit next to him. She spoke to him and said hello with a smile.. He smiled back and said hello as well. They ended up getting off the train at the same station. The man found the woman attractive and he decided to approach her. He said “Hello, my name is Jeff. How are you today?” She smiled and said “Hello Jeff, my name is Sonia. Nice to meet you.”  The two began to converse and Jeff walked her to her car where they exchanged numbers.

The situation above can be a vice versa situation where the roles are reversed. The situation is not based on a true story, but I’m sure it happens often. The thing about life is our 20/20 vision can be just as good as our hindsight if we remove stereotypes. We tend to study people physically without conversing with them to see who they really are. The person who you look over, because of what your eyes see could be the man or woman of your dreams. But you wouldn’t realize that until hindsight. Sure, we should be critical of people’s physical appearance and the way they carry themselves. But we also should be open to their circumstances. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they’re coming from a paint job like Jeff. Maybe they just decided to throw on some clothes to grab a few items from the store for a meal they’re in the middle of cooking. We don’t know for sure. The only thing that can give you sure confirmation of who a person may be is verbal communication. Don’t be someone whose left saying “I wish I would have” or “If I would have.” As stated above, we don’t always get second chances on 20/20 hindsight situations. You never know who your may be and stereotyping is a sure way to miss out on them. 

Nell

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Comments
  1. Jasmine says:

    Since when do you write stories. I like it. Makes you go hmmmmmm. You should do these type of stories more often

  2. Tay says:

    I’m glad your still at it. I know some people want to see you fail but I want to see you win. I’m proud of you. ~Tay

  3. Keshia says:

    This is a very good post definitely something different with the story good job on bringing it into perspective. People judge people on teir outward appearance often both men & women. People are so much more than the material things they posses.

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