Don’t Judge a Book (or a Student [or a Kyle]) by Its Cover

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I was reminded of this lesson a couple of weeks ago when Kyle told me his story and am sharing with permission.

Kyle works every weekend at Waffle House. One day as he was clearing a table, he overheard a man say to his elementary aged son, “Look at that boy there. This is what will happen to you if you don’t work hard in school. You will be a high school drop out and work at Waffle House.” Kyle pretended not to hear the comment and continued to work as normal. This man, however, seriously misjudged a book by its cover.

The man thought this book told a story of an unmotivated student who dropped out of school and works at Waffle House because he has no other options. However, this story is about a senior in high school who is taking four AP classes this year alone and has a GPA that most people only dream of. This student is trying to save money for college and working weekends to do so. This student has insight into literature that leaves the rest of the class, me included, in amazement.

Some of my students decided to get together to support Kyle, so we met for waffles to begin our break. We loved watching him serve others with a smile on his face and a kind heart. This book is far from being written.

The reality is we don’t know most people’s stories. Hearing a story takes time, and if we don’t have time to hear a story, we should not make assumptions about someone based on circumstances. It takes very little time to ask a server, a cashier, or even a student about their day and open the door to hear part of their story.

Take time this week to hear someone’s story.

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