“People would ask me for tobacco although I wasn’t even a user. I was only 15 and a school boy. Do you wonder why? People tend to judge a little too quickly. Appearances can be misleading. Tattoos and long, unkempt hair do not make you less of a person. I wish people understood that and stopped judging by what they could see at first glance. I was judged for my appearance so often that once during a school picnic when I found the windows of my classroom broken and the electric switches broken, I was blamed for it. I had simply gone back to get my things and had no hand in it. There was no proper evidence to support the evidence either. But I was charged for it anyway and had to compensate for the damage someone else had caused. I was carelessly labelled as a mischief. My sister, who was a faculty member at the school, suffered because of my reputation. Although the events were disheartening and unpleasant, I managed to keep my head straight and qualified for high school scholarship. Then again, similar events took place and I even had to transfer to another school. My mother, who had raised me as a single parent, was incredibly sad. To see my beloved mother suffer because of me was the most painful thing I ever went through. 

Years later, I am now a law student in India. I earned this scholarship with my own hard work. I wanted to prove that I was more than what I looked like. I hope to one day make it up to my mother for all the hurt I caused her. We live in a society where we are constantly and thoughtlessly judged. I spent a long time suffering consequences for caring what others thought of me. Now I understand that no matter what we do, someone is bound to be dissatisfied. So I guess, we should live for ourselves and the people we love. Each of us is living a life others know nothing about. I was lucky to have believed in myself enough to make it through. So be kind, to yourself and to others. There may be another person judged and accused, who may suffer a changed self-image for the rest of their lives just because of a tactless remark.”


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