I See. I Like. I Blog.
I am a prosecutor and in my line of work, I prejudge people all the time. By ‘people’ here I mean the suspect(s) of the alleged crime. I have been trained to scrutinize every available evidence, for and against the suspect, before deciding whether to charge or indict him/her in court. Essentially, the decision to charge is based on witness’s statements, that of the victim and eye-witness, and where necessary, I would also rely on the written opinion of an expert such as a post-mortem report on the cause of death or a Chemist report on an illicit drug.
Have I been right in my judgment every time? In all honesty, no. I have lost many a case because the judge thinks the evidence isn’t ‘strong’ enough to sustain a conviction. Whatever the outcome may be, I hasten to add that every time I make that judgment call against a defendant, rightly or wrongly, I act with a clear conscience. I hold no prejudice against the suspect based on his/her race, faith or creed even if his creepy-looking face tells me he’s guilty as hell. Nor have I allowed abstracts and speculations cloud my mind in seeking justice in court.
Outside of work, in my every day life, I do judge someone or something without finding out the ‘real deal’. We all do it. Those who claim they don’t are hypocrites in my book. It is not altogether a bad thing to prejudge, especially when the prejudging is done for our own survival. A woman walking alone in an unlit area who sees a group of men walking towards her, should not be faulted to think the worst of these men, and to walk the other way – fast. By making that judgment call right there and then, she might or would have avoided any untoward incident.
When we do find ourselves judging the metaphorical book by its cover, I propose we give that person or thing a second chance. Make a little effort to get to know him/her before jumping the gun, because going by the tit for tat principle, that while you judge that stranger from his/her outward appearance, chances are they’re doing the exact same thing to you. Way I see it, everyone deserves a second chance. Or else you may never know that the brown girl with wonky teeth sitting in the corner all by herself might just turn out to be the most beautiful and kind-hearted woman you’ve ever met.