Sunday, August 6, 2017

Never Judge a Person By One's Appearance


One of my weaknesses is that I have as a Christian is that I am very good at judging a person's character when I meet them. However, that has led me to be judgmental and even make assumptions about people even before meeting them. One example happened last Thursday.

In the morning I had an 8:00am class with a high level student. The class content was mainly about the environment. Two days prior to that day, I taught two women the same content and they didn't have much to say about the topic and the class seemed to drag. Due to that class, I sensed dread that I had to teach Unit 49 to one student, since I didn't have much to say about the topic myself.

My student, an older gentleman in his late 40s to early 50s walks in. He spoke Korean to the personal tutor at the front desk, which annoyed me. I had this assumption that because he was older, he would be a bit arrogant and that was one reason why he didn't speak English. I thought "Maybe, he's just refusing to speak English because he doesn't like being told what to do." I commented to him that he should speak English especially since he's a high level student. The personal tutor laughed, but he just proceeded to walk to the board which told him where his class number was for that morning.

Now I'm dreading the class more thinking that the class would be super boring and that the hour would feel like an eternity. I even prayed before the class and asked God to give me strength to get through the class. Then as I walked in, I was greeted with a pleasant "Good morning" and a smile. Although he saw me before, he wasn't sure if I was going to be his teacher. I asked him how his weekend was and he gave me a very detailed answer.

Then we began the class. As soon as I started the warm-up, I started to realize that my assumption was totally off. I asked him to brainstorm 10 words about the environment. Not only did he do that, but he also numbered them from 1 to 10. He followed my request to a "T".

Then we began to talk about the environmental problems of South Korea and was very well educated on the issue. He recalls that South Korea used to use the term "yellow dust" because they thought it came from the Yellow Sea on its way from China. Then he saw a news report that said that only 25% of the air pollution was caused by China. He then mentioned that the Korean government needed to do its part to solve the issue. That's why the term changed to "fine dust" instead of "yellow dust". He was also knowledgable about other environmental issues: recycling, water pollution, etc. I was stunned that this man was not only friendly, but very intelligent. The class was the best one for me despite the topic being a bit challenging. I felt guilty for making a wrong assumption about this man before I even walked into class. This was a learning experience and I wanted to share this so other people don't make this same mistake. When it comes to people, we should never judge a book by it's cover since we may be totally off with our judgments.

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

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