If you don’t have something nice to say, keep it to yourself. Also, never judge a book by its cover. They’re old sayings, but definitely hold up over time. One mother found out these lessons when she made a rude comment about a man’s appearance and he gave her quite an education that day. Andy Ross of Vancouver, Washington was running errands when he entered a store and saw a little girl staring at him.
He’d been working all day at his construction site and had dirt on his face after putting in a day of labor. When the girl and her mother were in front of him at the checkout line, the little one continued to stare him down and when they were leaving the store, he saw the mother point and say to her daughter: “That is why you need to stay in school.”
Andy took the opportunity for a teachable moment… both for the child and the mother, who clearly needed to learn a few things.
Andy shared the experience on Facebook, where he wrote: “So I had a very interesting ‘educational’ conversation with a woman and her daughter today… The following is our conversation: First, I happen to be a very educated dirty man. I not only have a high school diploma, I also have a college degree and many medical certifications. So assuming that I am uneducated because of my appearance is actually quite ignorant in itself.”
He continued: “Secondly, if you are telling your daughter to stay in school because I have tattoos up and down my arms, that will actually suppress her creativity and potentially hinder her imagination as she develops.
Again, contradictory to your point ma’am. I am proud of my tattoos and artwork that Forrest Bateman put on my body. It’s a representation of my pride in my country and my service over multiple combat tours as a special operations medic.”
Andy continued to enlighten the woman by explaining that he not only co-owns Evergreen State Outdoors but that he also “chose to work in a construction industry.” He added: “I am proud to say that I am a part of building America and I enjoy my job everyday.”
His job and outdoor company are the right fit for him, as he noted: “I tried working a desk job when I got out of the service and it wasn’t for me. I enjoy working with my hands and being outdoors.”
He added that the job can be dirty, but he’s happy and doing well: “Subsequently, it comes with being dirty some days. I make good money, have benefits, and am able to provide for my family without issue.”
Andy laid this truth bomb on the woman as well: “So my appearance reflects nothing to do with my level of intelligence or pursuing a higher level of education.”
He further noted that he left them “with a simple final statement of ‘have a good day and try not to judge people before you know anything about them.’”
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