Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

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The protagonist is a Muslim girl who stands out in her sister’s posh school due to her hijab. She is picking up her sister from school when the lady at the front desk asks her age and questions her ability to pick up her sister. The protagonist feels insulted by the lady’s attitude towards her and her appearance. The lady criticizes the note given to her, claiming it is unprofessional due to the lack of a date. Despite feeling angry, the protagonist restrains herself out of respect for her mother’s belief in creating a better image for Muslims. She reflects that people often judge others from the outside and that it is important to avoid this behavior. The story highlights the importance of not judging a book by its cover and giving people a chance.

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Upon examining me closely, she inquired about my age. I was displeased with her attitude and the way she glanced at me, silently conveying “You don’t belong here.” Nonetheless, I have an equal entitlement to be present just as much as she does. In response, I stated, “I am fourteen years old and possess the required authorization to collect my sister.” The woman’s appearance mirrored her grumpy disposition – a crumpled yellow shirt, unpressed pants, and merely twelve strands of hair. She reminded me of your typical cantankerous teacher. Meanwhile, my younger sister attends an upscale school.

This paragraph describes a negative experience at a school in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The narrator’s sister attends this school and sometimes the narrator has to pick her up after school. The neighborhood they live in is not very diverse, and as the only Muslim girl wearing a scarf, the narrator stands out. When the narrator shows someone a note, they react rudely and dismissively. The person criticizes the note, stating that it is not professional.

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“Wait, do you speak English?” I glanced at her in surprise. Is she serious? A plethora of insults raced through my mind. I couldn’t fathom that she had just posed that question. Wasn’t it evident which language I was conversing in a mere moment ago? Japanese?!? I opt to heed the advice my mother imparted to me at the onset of the school year, when my sister would return home teary-eyed due to someone mocking her footwear. She expressed her desire to cultivate a more positive perception of Muslims, given their absence within our community.”

These individuals may not have had any prior encounters with Muslims, so their initial reaction might not be meant to be disrespectful. In my mind, I have already physically confronted her multiple times. “Ah, as I was saying, this message lacks professionalism because it doesn’t include a date.” Here we go again. “However, I will overlook it this time. Please bring me a new one tomorrow,” she continued. Yeah, sure, I thought. “Oh, okay,” I said with a forced smile, leaving the room with my sister before my anger takes over. This is not the first instance where someone has judged me based on outward appearance.

Initially, I responded to their inquiries with kindness, without fully grasping their underlying intentions. However, I now comprehend that their true messages were essentially expressing exclusion or disapproval towards me. Reflecting on that moment, it dawns on me that my reaction should have been altered. Rather than becoming angry with them, I should have shown empathy. I ought to have felt sorry for them for feeling compelled to evaluate someone solely based on their outward appearance. It is a behavior we all should strive to avoid. I strongly believe in abstaining from making judgments based on appearances and providing opportunities for individuals to demonstrate otherwise.

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Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover. (2016, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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