Proverb: Chớ Trông Mặt Mà Bắt Hình Dong

English equivalent: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Have you ever heard the story about the rose and the cactus? In a forest, in the middle of blooming season, flowers and plants were showing off their beauty and fragrances. Among them all, the rose was considered the most beautiful, and deemed the queen of all flowers. Meanwhile, standing beside the rose was an ugly, thorny cactus. Rose thought that the cactus was useless and said, “It is such a shame to stand next to you.” When summer came, every creature was short of water to survive. For this reason, the rose was dying. Meanwhile, the cactus was still fresh and birds came to extract water from its flesh. This is when the rose realized that the cactus was extremely useful, especially in dry weather. The rose was so ashamed of its previous assessment of the cactus, and it bashfully asked for help. The cactus asked the birds to transfer the fresh drops of water stored in its body to the rose. The rose was restored to its normal appearance and felt very regretful that it had misjudged the cactus because of its ugly appearance.

Although anthropologists usually assume that the face speaks volumes about the character of a person, this is not always true. We often judge a person or thing based on appearance, but that view is not always accurate and sometimes misleading. There are many things that we cannot fully understand just from glancing at an exterior. If we rush to make judgments, we may accidentally hurt others. Things may get worse and sometimes it will be too late to fix the problem. When commenting on a person or a thing, be careful and consider all aspects. Gaze through a different lens and you will see people and things in a different way.

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