VOL. 25 March ISSUE YEAR 2024

From Editor's Desk

in Vol. 25 - March Issue - Year 2024
Don't judge a book by its cover...

We all know that we should not judge a person by its appearance. But most likely we all do. Even if we fight against it, we somehow can't help it. We may not speak it out loud, but the thought is there, and first impressions come within the blink of an eye.

However, we should not feel too bad about it since there is indeed, a scientific explanation for it. This behaviour or instinct was taught to humankind many tens of thousands of years ago. It was part of evolution and the fight for survival. 

During that time, when humans were living in tribes and caves, it could be a matter of survival to be able to quickly judge people, especially people outside the tribe. Are they most likely friendly or are they hostile? And evolution is as simple as cruel. Those human species that made the right judgement survived longer, and therefore were more likely to be able to reproduce. So, they gave their abilities to the next generations. The basic rule of evolution. 

But the world has changed greatly since then. Luckily, our survival is not connected anymore to our ability to quickly judge people. But the instinct stays ... and misleads us more and more.

Now we live in a truly global world. Cultures and people from different countries, that, just 50 years ago, were likely to never have met in a lifetime, nowadays work, study, or live together. One does not even need to travel to meet people from many different cultures. Social media, internet meetings with Zoom, Teams, etc. allow us to see each other at any given time.  

Of course, this requires much more tolerance from our part since we are much more often in situations where we cannot use our instincts. Allow me to give you a few examples: While in some countries, it is normal to show off one's wealth with a fancy car, watch or whatever, in others, it is a "no-go" and understatement is the proof of success. While in many cultures an old-fashioned tie is a must in certain situations, in others even the president of a country will not wear it to a highly formal meeting. 

Especially the social media sector, with its advanced picture and video enhancement technology, makes first impresssions nearly impossible. Filters and other techniques can turn an old man within seconds into a strong, handsome man in his best age. So, it is probably never truer than at the present time ... don't judge a book by its cover.

Andrzej Wojtas (Ph.D.)

Chief Editor of MFN, E-mail: andrzej@mfn.li