Nope, I Will Not Give You My Title!

1416 words - 6 pages

As Christians, we are told “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” John 7:24 ESV. As Americans we tend to be quick to condemn whole countries for the radical acts of one group or the “appearances” of a country. The Middle East has been marked as an area filled with violent people and terrorists. We forgot, or are ignorant to the fact that there are many in the Middle East who try to live average lives just like us. Marjane Satrapi reminds us reminds us in her graphic autobiography Persepolis, The Story of a Childhood that an individual cannot be condemned for the actions of others. Satrapi’s story emphasizes the importance of getting to know someone’s personal story to better understand who they are rather than demoting them based on appearances. To break the habit we have of judging we must look at why we do it in the first place and then look to Satrapi’s text to see how we should treat others.
Turn on the television, listen to the radio, surf the internet, all the news from the middle-east depicts revolts, revolutions, violence, and war. With society’s lack of previous knowledge of these countries, it is easy for Americans to define these countries by the troubles the media presents. Also, American school systems help ingrain this image into our head. American history is required in most schools while world history is either forgotten, ignored by students, or tried to be squeezed into forty minutes every day. Students learn in depth about the war in Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in American history. Meanwhile, world history has so much to cover that they can only skim over the “important information”. When it comes to the Middle East, the only topics that seem to be “important” are the wars and conflicts. But these never seemed to be discussed about in depth, because only five days in a semester can be devoted to the Middle East because more time has to be given to studying Europe the “founders of our modern society”. It is almost as if we brush other countries cultures and history under the carpet to make room for only Westernized though.
Now that all feels as if it’s drifting away from the main point, but there is reason I mention it. Throughout this reading my view of Iran was changed. I was no longer seeing them as war-raging monsters like the media portrays them, and I kept question why did I view them like that in the first place? It boiled to the most influential institutions in the United States, its public school system and the media. That knowledge, and the material I read for my last paper on Europe’s forced Westernization really put how I view other countries and people in perspective. It all comes back to the basic morals our parents to reinforce in us as children: to not judge a book by the cover. It sounds so simple to avoid, and we often fall into the trap of thinking that we are successfully doing this. But it’s hard not to judge a book by a cover when its cover is graphically illustrated by the...

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