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Never judge a book by its cover.  Ever.  I’ve recently had a very strong reminder of this, and felt compelled to share….

My journey to London this week began on a train, before switching to a coach, (due to work on the tracks), then back to a train again. Upon leaving the first train, and stepping onto the coach, I found myself sat opposite a particularly unclean looking man.


I noticed that he was dressed in very torn and scruffy clothes, and that his footwear was virtually falling from his feet. He sat with a couple of dirty looking carrier bags, and simply wanting a quiet and undisrupted journey, my heart sank as he reached down into one of them, and pulled out a can of beer.

The journey continued, and I felt relieved as he sat quietly, leaving his remaining beer cans untouched.

A short time later, the coach arrived at its destination. All began to put on their coats and collect their belongings. A few seats ahead, a little old lady began to struggle to retrieve her suitcase from the overhead storage.  The people directly behind and in front of this lady appeared totally oblivious and I felt frustration start to build. To my amazement, the scruffy looking man had also noticed, and I watched as he stood and squeezed past everyone ahead before helping the little old lady with her case.  Not only did he help her get it down, but he carried it behind her to the front of the bus, and supported her smiling and chatting as she climbed down the steps.  He then waited for everyone to step off the coach, before returning for his own carrier bags. Feeling incredibly guilty for ever pre-judging this man, I felt a warm inner glow at witnessing this act of kindness.

Believing that my ‘never judge a book by itself cover’ lesson had been delivered, , I climbed down from the bus myself and entered the ticket office to await my connecting train. As I entered, I became aware of a raised and angry voice. The owner of this voice appeared to be stood at the ticket booth and seemed to be a very well dressed man, standing in an expensive looking suit, and highly polished footwear.  A posh leather brown laptop hung from his shoulder, and his gold watch revealed itself with angry gesticulations, as his voice increased in volume further.   It appeared that he wanted to pick up his train tickets, but that the member of staff was having problems typing his unusual surname into the computer. I watched as he crushed the staff member with his tone and his words, and muttered insults under his breath. And only in that moment did I realise that THEN, my life lesson had been delivered.

Too often we pre-judge, based on appearance, because we are often conditioned to believe that we have to look a certain way, to be a certain way. Today I was reminded of how wrong this is. I’m hoping that my words will enter your heart and your soul as you read, and that this story will somehow touch you in some way. I’m hoping that you will share this story, and as a result more people will be recognised for their inner beauty, and not their outward appearance.  I’m hoping that together we can make a difference.

Please share this story with your friends.  A tiny act of sharing creates a kinder world full of caring. Be part of this today!

Maria x


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