Andy Ross is a construction worker from Vancouver, Washington, who had a rather unfortunate run-in at his local grocery store. When he went to pick up some supplies, covered in the appropriate amount of dirt for a man who constructs buildings, he overheard a mother telling her daughter to "stop staring" and "that is why you need to stay in school."
So many stories like this one end in a shouting match between the people involved, but Ross channeled his feelings into a Facebook post trying to help people understand why the woman's judgement was hurtful and wrong.
Ross had several messages for the women who insulted him:
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.
Never judge a book by its cover, but always judge a person by their character— mr. parka (@mr. parka) 1528286147.0
And he wasn't done there:
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.
never judge a book by its cover cause you never know it’s story💯💁🏾♀️— ❥ .. (@❥ ..) 1528262859.0
Ross has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Third, if you're referring that statement to the hat (not featured) I'm wearing because it features an elk, you might not understand it. I happen to co-own Evergreen State Outdoors and am proud to own an outdoors company and support my rights to hunt and responsibly be a gun owner.
Appearances can be deceiving. Things can look different from the way they really are. https://t.co/NYJiN6M2gD— Newzmagazine.com (@Newzmagazine.com) 1528476056.0
He left them with a terse parting message:
Finally, I chose to work in a construction industry. I am proud to say that I am apart of building America and I enjoy my job everyday. 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.
Subsequently, it comes with being dirty some days. I make good money, have benefits, and am able to provide for my family without issue. So my appearance reflects nothing to do with my level of intelligence or pursuing a higher level of education.
I left the the two with a simple final statement of "have a good day and try not to judge people before you know anything about them. Good luck with her little girl"
“Blue collar jobs are the best jobs. They can pay great and it doesn’t always come with a price tag.” Think outsi… https://t.co/9JwnV6oPDz— Explore The Trades (@Explore The Trades) 1528461841.0
For everyone reading his post, Andy imparted his lessons of the day:
1 - Don't judge people at first glance.
2 - Do what you love and enjoy and it's never work.
3 - Blue collar jobs are the best jobs. They can pay great and it doesn't always come with a price tag.
4 - Education is important but college doesn't guarantee you anything.
5 - Experience, hard work and dedication allow you to be successful in your career path.
6 - Don't be an a**hole parent who raises their kids to be an a**hole.
7 - When attempting to insult someone's intelligence and education level, don't allow yourself to be out educated by said dirty man.
8 - I need a shower.
If the 163k shares are any indication, that is some pretty good advice.
You never know someone’s story until you walk in their shoes. #dontjudgeabookbyitscover #weareallhumans https://t.co/cZE7ijko3l— SusanYork (@SusanYork) 1528381020.0
Twitter couldn't agree with Andy more!
Don't judge people until you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.— Relationship ♡ (@Relationship ♡) 1528549745.0
Don't judge a situation you've never been in.— (M Complex) WD (@(M Complex) WD) 1528544745.0
The comments on Facebook were similarly supportive. Margaret Ann Heckert commented:
I love number seven. My husband is a coal miner and if he's in normal clothes before he takes a shower and not in his coal miners bibs every one thinks the same. He loves his job too. Way to pave the path for the girl to believe she can do anything and not be judge mental ❤️
Facebook user Jason Gauthier noted:
Well said brother. That's half of what's wrong with people these days. Think they so much better than others because of looks and how they are dressed. People like us are the ones who are building business for others.
Nathaniel Larson has been in similar situations:
Well I agree I get the same thing I've been a cow hand most my life have a college education but it's what I choose to do to help feed America and help horses find their people good job sir
Ross's message has been reacted to 304k times and 31k people have commented!
Andy was running errands when he noticed a woman pointing at him. "That is why you need to stay in school," she tol… https://t.co/Qxyd2kQ787— Reshareworthy (@Reshareworthy) 1527970205.0
Maybe next time, the woman will have second thoughts before judging a stranger's appearance.