Robert H. Miller, Ph.D.
“Never judge a book by its cover” so states the adage of self-incrimination, when assessing others based on appearance. Although first impressions do linger even if the object of appraisal is a book. What if it isn't an inanimate object, what if your first impression about something or someone happens to be a person, a human being? Can we stop ourselves from a rush to judgment? Fathomless, unmeasured assertions about our fellow man based on a cursory glance can set off a chain reaction. Doubt, suspicion, all the usual social tropes, to include, prejudgment and bigotry, line up in our head ready to act on demand.
People who pride themselves in taking unbridled adventures, soaring through unchartered waters and delving into wild skies to answer the call to their curiosity would feel impose upon if the "powers to be" said, “Stop, you can't have those thoughts, think exactly the way we tell you"! If such voices incessantly whispered that mantra into our heads, our lives would be full of fear and trepidation. To comply with such non-sense would short-circuit our curiosity and hang our dreams out to dry. When you think about it, as human being we protect our lives like "book covers" guard the private pages of a story. Although we protect the pages of our life, we desperately want our stories listened to and read.
We spend our lives designing our "covers" with tacit anticipation someone will pick us up and begin to read. Hopefully, the reader will find our story so compelling they'll finish the book and discover how fascinating we are, right? But there’s also the other side of that coin; the reader picks up your book, does a quick thumb through and politely puts you back on the shelf. The only conclusion drawn from that experience is, you weren't the right book for that particular reader or they read a passage that so resonated with them but ruffled the feathers of their consciousness. They weren't ready for your book, not yet.
Our stories are human journeys taken to inner and outer spaces where we reconnect with lost parts of our identity. We’re not Islands unto ourselves by any means, we are here, in each other's face to be seen and listened to, without guilt or judgment. What makes us human, is our connectivity. Many of our stories hidden between life's covers decry a more tedious investigation, one that challenges how similar one story is to another, no matter whose book you’re reading. Our cover titles are appealing and welcoming to any reader. Our primal scream is loud and clear,” please, pick up my book, and hear yourself speak!”. We are not strangers to one another, more like strings of DNA fastened together by streams of memories and unlimited dreams!