There is an old saying that says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Even though I don’t know for certain how the quote originated, I would imagine it started with a librarian or teacher saying it to a group of young students in order to get them to read more. Even though, I do not know where, why or by whom the saying was first uttered it was meant to help encourage people to look past the boring and dull covers of a book and read the words on the page. For those of us who like to read, we understand that the real beauty of the book is on the inside.
In today’s society, the saying still means to not judge things on the outside, but we have applied it to much more than just books. Parents say it to their children to get them to eat their green vegetables. Realtors have said it to potential buyers about a house that might not be exactly what they want. However, one of the main ways we use the saying is when talking about people.
One of the main things I love about my job is meeting my neighbors. I love getting to know them and spending time with them. I have had many interesting conversations about topics I never would have dreamed about talking about. One of the things here at CCC we tell everyone is to look past all the differences or things that would normally keep you away from people and just meet and get to know your neighbors. Most likely you will not agree on things, but the one thing we have in common is we are all humans.
When I first started this job almost a year ago, one of the first neighbors I met was a lady named Pam. She attended my first the first neighborhood dinner. Pam was sitting at the head of the dining room table talking to a few other neighbors when I was introduced to her. If you know Pam, you know that she is hard to forget. Pam is disabled and whatever she has (and no I have never asked) keeps her confined to a wheelchair. I will be honest; I made the mistake of thinking when I first met Pam that she would be someone that I could help a lot. I assumed that just because I am not handicapped that I could help her. And while yes there have been several times that I have assisted Pam with something, she has probably helped me or offered to help me more than I have her.
On more than one occasion Pam has stopped by the house just to check on us or say hi. When Ashley was dealing with some medical issues earlier this year, she would come by and make sure she was okay and even offered assistance if we needed it. Whenever we have our monthly dinners she usually stops by and sees if she needs to bring anything. Recently Pam had a fall and broke a bone in her hand. She still amazes me though. Given her condition plus a broken hand, a weaker person might curl up and give up on life. But not Pam. She will tell you her spirituality and God helps her get through anything.
I love that Pam is my neighbor. She is an amazing woman who has a wonderful outlook on life and is always willing to help out when she can. So, if you see Pam riding around in the neighborhood in her wheelchair with her dog. Stop and say hi. Get to know her and you’ll understand there is more to her than just what we see.