FIlipinos by nature place heavy judgement on one’s physical appearance. How else could we explain our strict adherence to dress codes and proper hygiene?
Although having this collective attitude is harmless but it can perpetuate some bad effects especially if we become too akin to relying on one’s behavior before we put our trust in them.
Because of our judgemental nature, we also place a big value to stereotypes. Whenever we see a homeless man, we automatically assume that he is lazy, when we see a young woman with a child, we assume that she lost her direction in life, and when we see a man with long hair and unkept beard, we assume that he might be mentally unhinged.
But this is not always true.
Take for example this man who looks like a hermit but is actually a science professor in one of the leading state universities in the country. Meet Ruben Madridejos.
If you see this man for the first time, you might think twice before approaching him or you might just avoid him totally. But just like the time tested maxim, we can’t judge a book by its cover.
Sir Ruben as his college students fondly call him, has actually been teaching Physics for years now. A lot of students actually like him because of his dedication to his craft. He even takes the extra hours to make sure that students who weren’t able to understand the lesson for the day would actually keep up with the lesson matter.
He mentioned that teaching used to be his life. All his hours, he dedicate to teaching students and doing experiments. Now, he is just a part-time teacher.
When he was asked why he kept his hermit-like fashion, he said that he simply doesn’t have the time to shave regularly. As an academe, he thinks that time is of the essence and he won’t sit still just to shave hair off his face if he can do other things productively.
At school, he finds it funny when people and students who doesn’t know him, try to avoid him. He also fondly recalls the shock the students would have when he enters a room and presents himself as the teacher.
Sir Ruben is a living proof that there is so much more than what meets the eye, if we only learn to see and see with pure intentions. It’s not just the clothes nor the physical that counts, most often than not, it is what’s inside one’s heart.