Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover Teenagers are often defined as inconsequential, gauche, exploitable and uncompassionate adolescents. Most of this recognition comes from our failure to take social risks and possess an open mind. We are all one student body, yet we are so separated in many aspects. Much of the segregation exists because we are unable to look past appearances. It is a prime social issue that is being neglected by the community. What gives designer clothes, thick lensed glasses, or different hairstyles the authority to determine if we are people who are worth knowing? These days, there is too much emphasis on looks. If everyone would take a brief moment to see the shining wit or loving personality in a person rather than just their body, then the world would be a better place. In this society, young adults are constantly wrestling with the decision to deviate from the conformity that goes hand in hand with leading a "normal" teenage lifestyle; leaving some with no choice but to abide in sanctuary through the comfort of a spiritual well being.

There are many great and natural differences among people. "Nerds" are not "football players." Their talents, skills, and capacities are not the same. An unalterable condition in human society is that the lowest cannot be made equal with the highest. Nature is vain. However, these conditions are adapted to Millar 2 benefit both individuals as well as the community. Life requires varied aptitudes, diverse services, and miscellaneous types of people to carry on its affairs as life as a whole. Drawn by our natural tendencies to fall into peer pressure, we constantly seek to form exclusive associations or "cliques." Within these groups, we should discourage any exclusion based on the wrong reasons such as appearances, which many people cannot drastically change.

It is important to remember that our harmony depends on our effort and ability to accept others in whatever form they come, even if they are different in ethnicity, religion, or appearance.

All forms of acquiescence are self sacrilege. We are in a state of many changes, a chance to try new things, and to discover who we really are. One's struggle to be his own person inside and out is a task that calls for courage. Do not ridicule those who walk down the hall with mismatched socks pulled up to their knees, or those who wear bright, patterned clothing. They are expressing themselves and sharing their uniqueness. Some might protest that it is just a phase that all teenagers go through. Others might make excesses such as, it is strictly a problem of Newport Beach. The real question is, do we not have control of our actions? Or should discrimination, immaturity, and rapacity be diagnosed as a handicap? The means are not justifiable; and the inability to demarcate people is a weakness that must not be dismissed. The recognition of our Millar 3 rights, individual and collective, include the most basic obligation: respect for our peers. Next time, think about what is in a hairstyle, or what is in make-up. Sadly, they both have too much significance in our superficial and worldly expectations.

Man is a person provided by our Creator with gifts of body and mind. We are all created in His image and likeness. As sinners, we do not have the right to judge or question His wisdom. Rather, are obliged to regard our bodies as good and honorable. Mankind is not wrong when he regards himself superior to bodily concerns. For by interior qualities, he can overcome the whole sum of mere things. The intellectual nature of the human person needs to be perfected by wisdom. This is because, wisdom gently attracts the minds of mankind in a quest for love of what is true and good. It is important to remember when wisdom and understanding is present, man can pass through visible materialities to discover the real person within.

Never judge a book by its cover. Appearances can be deceiving. Within the most unattractive people can lie the most devoting hearts. They are able to give to uncaring people, like ourselves, the gifts of forgiveness and friendship. Just imagine that each gift is wrapped with unconditional love and delivered with the most genuine smile. Let there be no more victims of discrimination. Ignore the false perceptions of beauty that society has imposed on us. Remember, true beauty lies within. As soon as one realizes that in their heart, everyone may be better known, better loved, and better served.