How We See Each Other

            There is a guy in my writing class who is very socially awkward. He isn’t very good at speaking to the class and is hard to understand. If you had asked me a few days ago about his physical appearance I would have said that he’s not very good-looking. But then I looked at him, really looked at him, and saw that I was completely wrong.

            He has an awkward smile, but when he just sits and quietly pays attention he is actually very handsome. He has wavy brown hair, nice brown eyes, he’s built well, and he has a good complexion. There is nothing at all wrong with the way he looks.

            If he were someone else I would probably say he’s cute, but for some reason I can’t see him that way. There is also nothing glaringly wrong with his personality. He sometimes says stupid stuff, but he also typically has good advice during peer review. He’s nice, and somewhat friendly, although sometimes he talks too much. But he’s not a jerk or an idiot, he’s just awkward.

            It’s sad, but I know that most people will never take the time to really look at him, and will never realize that he’s actually quite beautiful (not that looks really matter all that much, it’s just that I feel like we reflect our judgmental observations of people into how we physically see them). And I can’t help but wonder how many people I’ve know who I never took the time to actually see. How many people do I see every day that I don’t really look at? And how many people never truly see me?

            I feel bad for being so judgmental because I’m also shy and awkward, so I can relate to this guy. I think, in some ways, we can all relate. No one is perfect, and we all fear that others will focus on those aspects of ourselves that we wish we could change.