I have always been a bubbly person, very creative and open to trying out new things. I have one thing I love about myself but again, that most people do not like; I make fun of people in class.
On the 4th day of February 2013, I was in class, and as usual made fun of my teacher. As a student, I was merely making fun of my teacher. I noticed something weird. There were glances thrown here and there; some students would sneer without a word, some would smile and say how much they have always wanted to be daring enough and make fun of the teacher, and some would barely notice my aggressions.
However, the teacher who was completely disturbed, at the end of our conversation, whispered in my ear, “You know you really should change track and be serious! That makes you appear uncivilized!” I was astonished, shocked beyond words. The words “uncivilized” lingered in my head the entire day. I kept wondering if he was right, or what exactly he meant. I was not particularly happy for the rest of the day. In fact, I was offended. I did not bother to ask why, or to engage in further discussion with him. I simply smiled and walked away.
While having a quiet evening that day, I reflected about my life. I wondered why I was judged by the teacher. Thinking about it, those were strong insulting words. To be called less civilized just because of my small act? Growing up, my mother always emphasized that my siblings and I behave well and groom appropriately especially when we had guests at home or when we were out visiting. Personally I did not care about other people’s perception of me. It never mattered what other people thought. However, the 4th of February 2013 remains a memorable day in my life not only because I turned 21 years and had met my match in the teacher, but simply because I got to learn more about this word, “Perception”!
Simply put it is how we perceive things using our five senses. Of course, different people perceive things differently. It is expected. Human beings are created differently and, therefore, have different tastes and styles. Our different cultural backgrounds also inform our perceptions about things in life. The teacher was likely from a different generation from mine and so his views on certain aspects of life would be totally different from mine. Times have changed.
I gathered that many people are misinformed about class theatrics and, hence, form negative opinions about the students who partake in the same. The misconception is that making fun of teachers in class is typical of lazy, unfocused and silly students. Perhaps the teacher was from this school of thought. I personally believe in knowing people before judging them by their outer appearances and behavior. I have had a very liberal approach to life growing up as opposed to my mother who has always been keen on how people perceive us.
I think it is unfair to misperceive people just because they make fun of their teachers in class. I do believe that everyone has a right to make fun at times. It actually depends to what extent that fun is made. In my case, it was only a small tipoff that did not warrant the exaggeration it was given by the teacher. I still insist that the teacher gave it too much thought and considered my character in bad taste. It was purely prejudicial and such was not justified. I mean, I was merely making a small joke and had the least intention of repeating it on him.
At the end of the day, I realized I would not stop my fun making in class or anywhere else for that matter just because someone told me I looked uncivilized. I am definitely not uncivilized. I love myself as I am. I think that people should embrace others as they are without necessarily trying to change them to be what they would want. There have been more and more misconceptions in the future, and I have gathered how to deal with them; to smile and give a cold shoulder. If someone insists on having their ways though, I often tell them off politely insisting that they too should consider my point of view.
I am generally more conscious about perception. I am keen not to judge people before knowing them just because of their outer appearances. I do agree that to some extent, one’s outer appearance does matter. Professionalism calls for good grooming and good character. I learnt to respect other people’s opinions since different experiences and backgrounds inform our perceptions in life. We can always agree to disagree. We cannot please everyone and so we should strive to be true to who we are. “We see the world, not as it is but as we are”-Talmund.