Are you a basketball player? You must play sports. I hadn’t even sat down in my seat just yet when an older lady on my flight back to DC looked at me and asked me those questions. I politely told her that I was actually studying to become a doctor and her eyes immediately got big! After that, her whole demeanor changed and we had a great conversation the rest of the flight back to DC. Just a few weeks ago, I was working out in the gym and out of nowhere, an older gentleman approached me and started talking. I couldn’t hear what he was saying because I had my earphones on but after stopping my music, he said “You look like a salesman.” I gave him a very confused look and said “What makes you think that., I’m actually a doctor.” Was it maybe something that I was wearing? The way I was carrying myself? Maybe because I was one of the only black males working out in the gym that day. He immediately said “Oh I’m sorry, I’m very proud of you.” and extended his hand for a handshake. For the rest of my workout, I couldn’t help but to think and ask myself why this gentleman thought I was a salesman just by looking at me.
While working in the ICU at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio back in 2008, I met a gentleman by the name of Juan. Juan was a quiet, reserved and laid back fellow who had served time in the military and gotten out on military disability. To make time fly by and just to make a little extra change, he got a job at the ICU working as one of our administrators, essentially a secretary filing all of our paperwork, shredding papers, etc. Everyone thought Juan was a little weird. He didn’t say much, just came to work, did his job and went home. One day I decided to spark a conversation with him. At that time, I was interested in real estate. I wanted to start my own business of buying and selling real estate in Texas and San Antonio was the prime market for it. I even moved one of my best friends from Shreveport to San Antonio to start up and run the company. After talking to him one day, I learned that he had been buying and selling houses for years, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit. We had a long conversation of the process, how to buy, how to find good deals and even gave me some of his contacts. At the end of our conversation, he wanted to show me something on the computer. He logged into his account and what immediately popped up took me by surprise. $450,000 in his investment account. The guy who everyone treated like he was a nobody and who was “just our secretary” had over a half million dollars in his investment account alone and another $550,000 in other accounts. He then stated “The doctors here talk to me and treat me like crap. Like I’m a nobody. Just remember to never judge people by how they look or act when you become a doctor.” He logged off the computer and walked away, leaving me speechless and with a new motto to live by, Never judge a book by its cover.
We live in a very superficial society where where people have their preconceived notions based on what is seen on the surface without taking the time to delve deeper.
In Samuel 16:7, the bible says “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” A person’s appearance, physical attributes or how they dress may not be any indication of their inner well being. Humans are incredibly complex individuals. While their physical appearance may well be apparent, their spiritual (inner) dimension is not. So, remember this the next time your intuition Is telling you to form an assumption about a person, based on how they look or act. You never know who that person may be or how they could be a blessing to your life.