Yesterday’s post was a celebration of the best book covers of the year. The graphic designers who create such works of art deserve recognition for their work.
As the year winds down, I’m struck by these cover images and the metaphor that they offer. With a quick glance at a book cover, we judge the content and the author. What the world sees of us is like that jacket, covering the real person inside. And just like a book cover, we are judged. Many times, it is before anyone ever took time to read our story.
We work hard to improve our external image. Whether through fashion, diet, exercise or even plastic surgery, we spend billions on physical improvements. It’s not just physical appearance either. We want our presence to be positive online. There are now various “reputation defender” services to combat unwanted reviews on the Internet. How we look to the outside world is important to most of us.
Twitter claims over 100 million users. You can’t watch much television without hearing about this social media behemoth. The U.S. Republican presidential debates (is it just me or are there more debates than ever?) even have questions coming from Twitter. I’ve seen CNN randomly scrolling tweets on the bottom of the screen like a stock ticker tape.
Hanging in the family room of my childhood home was a needlepoint that my oldest sister carefully crafted. It was a picture of eight owls on a tree limb, and underneath had the words “there’s always room for one more.” That saying was almost a family mission statement. My parents decided to open the family home to anyone who had a need. Some people would live with us for years and became as close as another sibling. Others would stay a night or two, needing help with a problem or a place to sleep. I have many interesting stories and experiences from this unique way to grow up. I learned more about people and perspective than I could have imagined. I learned to respect individuals as they were. The problem that brought someone to our doorstep didn’t define them, and neither did their race or religion.