Mondays are not my most creative day of the week. My to-do generator starts firing off tasks the minute my alarm goes off. Kind of like an Uzi and a nail gun all rolled up into one. My artistic mind huddles in the corner and waits until the shooting stops before it attempts to wield any influence. Today, though, something I heard on the radio catapulted my softer side to life earlier than normal.
I didn’t get the whole conversation between the two DJs, but the gist of it was that one of them had a hard time trusting a doctor with tattoos.
The first adage that came to mind was, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
We all know the phrase. Most of us have been admonished to avoid stereotypes since we were old enough to understand our mother tongue. Yet, we still do it. No matter how hard we try to do otherwise, it’s in our nature to assess and categorize each person we meet in the flicker of a moment.
But have you ever tried to imagine past the surface? My writer buds and I do it all the time, usually at lunch or happy hour while we’re dreaming up kooky characters and plots.
Take a look at the person next to you (or the next person you come into contact with if you’re setting at home with your jammies on).
What if that person had a secret hidden away you couldn’t discern through your immediate, visual inspection?
Maybe you see a well-dressed man complete with a conservative black suite, pale blue tie and crisp white shirt. What if he paints the town on the weekends in a completely different type of outfit? Something with a healthy splash of neon pink?
Maybe you spy a rough and tumble looking woman—leathery skin, beat up jeans and a wife beater with some obscure band name emblazoned across the front. What if her favorite past-time is crocheting doilies and has friends over for afternoon tea at least twice a week?
Maybe you see a timid gentleman, hair an unremarkable color with shirt and shoes to match. Nothing about him inspires a story at first glance. What if he’s actually into kink and spends his evenings as an experienced dominant at a local BDSM club?
It’s a fun exercise. One that pushes us past the (sometimes limited) first glance and gives us a way to stretch not just our creativity, but maybe broaden our tolerance.
What observations did you come up with? Any interesting ideas you’re willing to share? I’d love to hear about the fascinating people you meet today.