Recently, while engaged in conversation with a taxi driver, I was asked the obligatory question, “What do you do?” “I’m a real estate broker,” I answered. “Wow, you don’t look like a real estate broker,” he replied. "Hmmm, what exactly does a real estate broker look like?” I asked. “I don’t know – I just wouldn’t have guessed that you were a real estate broker,” the driver said. Finally, feeling neither flattered nor insulted by the driver’s viewpoint, we continued our discussion until we reached my destination. And yet, although I'm quite confident the taxi driver's comments were harmless in nature, I couldn't help but wonder about the power of misconception.
Personally, I can remember a few occasions when I was judged solely based on incidental traits or personal attributes. In retrospect, I believe I was inaccurately assessed by individuals who knew absolutely nothing about me. The truth is, we are all judged at one time or another – encountering those individuals who've developed preconceived opinions based upon our age, our religion, our height and weight, our hair color, our profession – whatever. In fact, being a far-from-perfect-person myself, I too have been guilty of “judging a book by its cover.” Not surprisingly, though, I typically have discovered that my judgments were unsubstantiated and flawed. Which begs the question: Is judging people an inevitable and unavoidable common case of human nature?
We all have a story – and I’m pretty sure most people would be shocked to hear mine. Suffice it to say, I have endured and survived my fair share of trauma and adversity during the course of my lifetime. I don’t talk about it much. I don’t blog about it at all. Besides, I am frequently reminded that I have plenty of company. Yet, there is one significant point of which I am positively certain: Labels and external characteristics do not define who I am. So, other than forming the opinion that I look fabulous for my age (a sentiment I will gladly accept all day long,) here is my plea: Get to know me first. Within a professional context, allow me to prove what I know and what I can do. Let me show you why you should invest your time in me. Permit me to demonstrate how my experience, talent, and expertise will benefit you – and how knowing me will undoubtedly change your life for the better. Simply stated, please give me chance. Then you can judge me.