I was once told not to judge a book by its cover, but I didn’t understand the statement. I was also told that first impressions last. So these two statements got me thinking because they are both different.

I wondered, what if the first impression is bad, but that does not really mean the person is a bad person. And what if the first impression is good, but that does not really mean that the person is a good person. You just have to know them and don’t judge them because of their first impression.

I got to understand the true meaning of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, it feels like it was only yesterday.

There was once this poor guy who lived in the neighbourhood streets. Anytime I went to university I would see him digging in the dustbin for food. I was so disgusted by him. He used to say to me, “Sister can you please give me a few cents, I want to buy some bread.” I would snap and chase him away with anger. I mean, he was so dirty, what would people say if they saw me with him? Every time I walked past him, I felt like I was going to vomit. Well, you never know what life holds in store for you. You might wake up, you might not wake up. You can go to school or work and never come back.

So on this day, I woke up early in the morning, prepared myself to go to university. On my way to university, I was deep in thought that I didn’t notice anything about my surroundings. Everything happened so fast. The next thing when I opened my eyes, I was in hospital. I asked what happened and the doctor said, “You were hit by a car, and this young man here took care of the situation until the paramedics arrived. Well, he saved your life in a way,” the doctor said.

And I was wondering how this filthy person could’ve saved me? The doctor went out and I was left with this young man in the room. I asked him why he saved me. How he did it? He said, “I am a doctor,” and I was so astonished. I was thinking, what kind of doctor are you? A filthy one? Typical!

He continued talking.

“I made a few mistakes in the past, failed to listen and thought I knew everything, whereas I knew nothing. Well, let’s spare that story for another day, but I’m thankful you are alive.”

I ran out of what to say. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing; I mean he was just too dirty to be a doctor. How can that be possible? I snapped and asked him to leave the room. Then it hit me, the words: “don’t judge a book by its cover”. And what happened gave it a clear and true meaning. Now I know what it means and never in my life will I ever judge people by just looking at their outlook, never again.

I think, the first impression people make does not really mean they are good or bad; if you got to know them better by then you can make a conclusion whether they a good or bad. We only need to understand their background to understand them better. So I swallowed my pride after I was discharged and went to the streets to see the young man who saved my life.

I thanked him for saving my life. I even asked my parents to help him build up his image and get back in the game and save more lives, like he saved mine. He got back on his feet, regained the trust of people around him. This person somehow became my role model. He is a hardworking man, no matter what happened to his life he kept holding on. The insults he got never brought him down. He was just perfect. He was heavenly sent.