• Brandon Robbins

A Book By Its Cover

The moon's lesson in appearances continues. I reflect on a question, "How do others perceive me?" It’s a curious question. Am I as I appear? Can you tell and answer the question of who I am at a glance? Can anyone glean such answers at a glance? To know and be able to tell their story based on how they appear?

All answers point no but there are instances where these snap judgements occur and they still occur. I was part of a conversation that expressed dismay at a cast photo.

“They should be more inclusive. I won’t support a venue that doesn’t showcase more people of colour!”

Meanwhile, the cast was diverse and there were people of colour there. Sure it was bad lighting and yes some were on the lighter side. But there is no denying who they were. Despite that, they are still people of colour. But, that fact was dismissed because it didn’t make sense. It was a disappointing conversation to be part of. Ignorance isn’t a viable excuse anymore. Hiding behind the expression "I didn’t know" when voicing a strong opinion on a matter you know little about. Perhaps it’s better to remain silent instead of looking uneducated.

It is easy to make these assumptions and snap judgments based on what we see. Seeing a photo of people you don’t know, creating a story about what we see because it somehow makes sense. You don’t know the people in the photo anyways, why would you want to know who they are? let alone their culture of origin? There is no interest to ask those questions let alone having them answered. The next best thing is to trust your eyes and fill in the gaps. It’s better that way right? Or is it better to claim ignorance?

Sure I used a common instance using race. It is something I experience myself being a person of colour and white-passing. It makes me ponder of these other situations where a story is created based on how I look and it made to be true because it is believed to be so? To create and enforce stigma because it’s easier than to educate yourself on the facts.

Appearances are an interesting thing. In these times of inclusiveness, expression and identity where others have missed the mark. The old saying “never judge a book by its cover” has that expression somehow been forgotten and its meaning lost? The expression holds its truth. People aren’t always as they appear. The moon teaches this also because she to is secretive. Showing her face in phases, yet where you can only perceive the sliver of silver and she looks to be smiling. She holds many secrets, including our own. There is so much of her story untold, it begs the question, would you want to receive it? Would you want to know her? Would she trust you enough to say or remain silent?

In a time where it was encouraged to get to know someone despite their appearance, getting to know the individual, receive their story and experience their uniqueness. Perhaps that experience is shared as they get to know each other, exchanging insights, ancestral wisdom and everyone wins because they each have gained something more from the other.

Somehow I’m disappointed knowing there are those who decide against it, creating a fabrication because they might trust only their eyes, which them easy to fool because they see with nothing else.

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