FAMILY & HOME The Cover of the Book has been Filtered ACCEPT IT; THEN ACCEPT WHAT’S UNDERNEATH By Donald Broughton W e have all heard the axiom, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” While that is a decent truth of which we all need to be reminded of on occasion, most of us fall victim to making intuitive snap judgments because sometimes they are very accurate. Malcom Gladwell wrote an entire book called “Blink” - which I highly recommend - on trusting and training our intuitive judgment. That said, in an era in which almost every selfie is the best of several pictures taken, and is most likely filtered or enhanced, the book really shouldn’t be judged by its cover! I get it. Sometimes when you see a mangy, flea-bitten dog (or MFBD), your avoidance of the animal because you don’t want to get fleas is warranted. Indeed, the poor animal may be in desperate need of love, food and a bath. With the right care and attention, the MFBD may become the most loving, loyal family pet, but it may also be out on the streets for a reason. It may be rabid. It may bite you. It may bite someone you love. That is why most of us looking to adopt a stray are probably wiser to go to the local Humane Society or rescue shelter. I travel for business constantly, and gather the soap and toiletries from the hotel rooms I stay in. I routinely buy bags of white athletic socks from a discount retailer, a bag of apples from the grocery store, a box of granola or energy bars, and toothpaste and toothbrushes from the drugstore. When I see someone holding a cardboard sign asking for help, I hand them a care package of toiletries that includes tooth care with a new pair of socks, an apple and a granola bar. I look them in the eye. I engage them. I explain what is in the package and ask them if there is anything else they need. They almost always say, “Thank you so much. No, no, nothing else. This is great.” I have had them spontaneously begin crying. I have had them sit down on the sidewalk, remove their shoes, and put on the fresh socks. Occasionally they will ask for money, and I may give them a few dollars or spare change, but I’m always afraid of enabling a drug or alcohol addiction, and my intuitive judgment knows that is a real possibility. I’m also opening myself to the possibility that “There but the grace of God, go I.” I have worked hard and overcome many challenges in my life, but I have also been very lucky and incredibly blessed. We live in an era in which we routinely only see the most positive side of people. We only see the cover of the book. We see carefully taken pictures that have been filtered and enhanced to show the person we are viewing in the best possible light. Even if they had a cell phone, homeless people wouldn’t post pictures of themselves panhandling. We see the gourmet meal on Instagram, but we never see the extra weight on the scale or the indigestion from eating or drinking too much. I admit it - I’m guilty. I’m far more likely to share a victory in my life or a beautiful sunset than I am to share a defeat or something ugly about myself. That creates a lack of humility in me, and that is dangerous. Looking at all the other beautiful things that all the other beautiful people are doing might also lead me to believe that they don’t struggle or fail, or even smell bad when they don’t shower. That would be an equally big mistake. Building spiritual wealth is dependent upon accepting ourselves. It is dependent on accepting and taking responsibility for our own failures. If we don’t, we are destined to continue to repeat those mistakes. Often, we are ashamed or unable to let others see our faults, but it is important that we do so. People can’t help you with your problems if you aren’t willing to share them. Let them see what is beneath the cover. When you begin to allow others to see tho ͔͡э̰ѡɕ͔)ݥɥ͔԰ݥٕ䁽ѕq'eͼԁ͡ɕѡЄ'e)٥ѡͅɽtȃq$͕Ѽ՝ݥѠѡаѡ́)ݡЁ$tȁٕаq]܄Qԁȁɕt) եɥՅݕѠ́ͼЁѥѡ́)ѡ̸]eЁȁɥ́䁥ݔ͕ѡ́əаѡ)eЁЁ͕́ѡȁ̰ݔɕeЁݥѼЁѡٔ)ѡ݅丁%ݔ͕ѡ́ͽ́ͽѼɕ)ѡݔeЁٔѡ%ݔȁѡ5 ѡЁeЁѡ)٥ЁɱɽЁѡɕȁɽ)́չȁѹȁ ɽ՝ѽ х) ɽ՝ѽ́ɕՕЁՕЁ 9 q9ѱ ͥ)Iӊuก!́ɕձɱսѕQ]Mɕ))ɹݡɔ́ͼɕ镐́ѽѽȰ)́չíMх5)MYYd$M=A!%MQ% Q$MMMd(