The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Think Again grabbed me and pulled me in and I just had to participate. Honestly, I haven’t made much time for participation lately, living in my little bubble that’s so filled, it’s about to pop. Same as anybody, I guess. But anywho, on with it…
The first image that sprang to mind was Kevin. I wish I had a photo of him to share so you could see what I mean. I’ll try and paint a picture…
I’m in the Air Force, new to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana. The second office I’m assigned to is a door away from this dude completely covered in tats, at least from what I could see with his sleeves neatly rolled up, squared off and buttoned down in place in his starched and ironed BDUs. His black hair has just enough product to give his hair a bit of a spiked look as if to imitate a mini Mohawk.
After work one evening, I see him walking outside the dining facility and he’s wearing a muscle shirt to show off more of his tats, his left ear has a skull and crossbones dangling from it and there’s just a simple black stud in his other lobe. His neck is sporting this black choker with silver spikes protruding out of it and his black hair is spiked out all over as if he’s about to get his biker gang ride on.
I was scared to death of him. Thought he was a freak.
During work one day, I needed something from his office, as his was more of administration and I needed some forms, so in I walked and he stopped talking to his cohort in crime and asked if he could help me. He greeted me with a smile and a minute later, we were in the midst of conversation and laughing. As the days passed, we quickly became friends. He was into certain things and places that I didn’t care for, which is cool, since it would be a pretty friggin boring world if everyone did the same stuff and were interested in the same things.
I was Christian. He was atheist. I wasn’t raised in church but had a strong faith in God and Jesus on my own choosing. Kevin was raised and forced to go to church anytime the doors were open — just about every night of the week and Sunday mornings. He was a rebel. Nothing wrong with being a rebel. Sometimes, you just have to be. He respected my beliefs and I respected his. His heart was so kind and compassionate, he even mailed me a Christian birthday card one year after he’d transferred to another base.
To this day, Kevin is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Haven’t heard from him in years as we both have moved several times but I still think of him. We’d meet up when one happened to be in the other’s town and we’d go watch a movie at the theatre, and then another, and then out to eat. He was so easy to talk to and laugh with and I miss him.
So, just so ya know, you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. You have to open the first page, read a little bit, spend a little time getting to know the book before you can judge whether you like it or not. People are funny like that. You think you know all about a person by the way they look or by what someone else has to say about them. It’s simply untrue. You have to talk to people. You have to give them a chance. Even at first, if they are introverted and trying to hide beneath the long bangs or glasses they don’t need or tats or anything they use to keep people at a distance, when you take the time to get to know someone, you might find that they are some of the best people you’ve ever known and you become a better person for having known them.