Saturday, April 19, 2014

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Over my spring break I managed to squeeze in reading a book. I read Afghanistan native Khalid Hosseini s second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. A few summers ago I read his first book, The Kite Runner, and loved it so figured I would enjoy this one. I wasn't disappointed. I would recommend it to anyone. In fact when I see my social media news feeds fill up with people s uneducated, bigotry post I feel that these people in particular should broaden their reading material.

Everything in this world is not red and blue/democrat and republican. There is a whole different world that exist in between. Too often I see people cast judgment because of one s   religion, their skin color, their income level or poverty vs wealthy status, and even because of the clothes they wear. This book helps you appreciate again what is so great about America. We can all coexist with all our different beliefs and appearances. Not only our freedoms and rights is what makes us a great country though, but also the security we have here. We have our problems, disagreements, and there s always room for improvement, but I can see why so many migrate here. They come for security and hope.

As a middle class tax paying American, this book made me feel ashamed of the times I ve complained about such petty things or thinking I needed "more". There s a lot of political bickering out there about the state of the middle class, but this book made me realize compared to so many other areas of the world middle class America is fairly wealthy. I think we forget that in our pursuit of more.

The other appreciation I was reminded of from reading this is how fortunate as a woman I am to be an American woman. The treatment of women when the Taliban moved into Afghanistan was brutal. Before the Taliban and Al Queada came here with their terrorist acts they were hurting innocent civilians in Afghanistan whose lives, homes, and loved ones had already been destroyed by decades of previous wars.

A few of my Fall college students chose to write their semester research paper over the misconceptions some have towards Muslims because of the bad deeds of a few. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, just as every black man is not a criminal, just as every white man is not a racial supremist, just as every poor person seeking government aid isn't a lazy bum wasting your tax dollars. Yes, unfortunately some fit these stereotypes, but good and bad deeds come from people of all colors and shapes. Just as we re taught not to judge a book from its cover from an early age its a lesson that carries beyond those first years of learning. Every person has a different story noatter what their outside appearance may be. So rather than jumping on some propganda band wagon maybe take the the to read and hear the story. We might be surprised by what we can learn. 

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