Tuesday, January 15, 2008


It is not politically correct to stereotype people, but everyone does it. You can always tell the "bad guy" in a movie. He acts and looks like a bad guy. Sadly in "real" life it is often not that simple.

Take the Pinoy stereotype of Australian men. Many Filipinos think Australian men are hard drinking brutish wife beaters. Like most stereotypes this is grossly unfair and often simply wrong. Take the case of "Tom"

Tom is a handsome young man with a mild Australian brogue. Working most of the year in the construction trade has given him a strong athletic body. Tom saves his money all year so he can travel during constructions off season. Most people would spend their vacation partying and having fun, but not my friend Tom. He spends his hard earned vacation time helping others. He helps them not by giving them money but by giving them the use of his time and strong arms.

When I met Tom he was digging a huge cistern for a local mental facility. Later he plans to fix that hospitals dirty kitchen and then create a french drain down the middle of the compound. That drain will allow the stagnant water to drain off and improve the hospitals sanitation. When I last saw Tom he was creating a gravel walkway so patients and staff will not slip as they walk between hospital buildings.

I have never seen Tom drunk or even take a drink. You wont find him dancing the night away at the local disco either. He lives a quiet peaceful life helping other people.So the next time you feel tempted to stereotype someone, be an Everyday Hero and remember Tom. Never judge a book by its cover. Get to know a person before you pass judgement or label them.

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