You meet them on the underground

   And pass them on the street.

You watch them in the office

   And react to those you meet.


You spot them in the supermarket,

    The church or at the bank.

They’re often at the filling station

    Filling up their tanks.


You scrutinise their clothing:

    Think: 'Are they young or old?'

You listen to their accents

    And take in what you behold.


Well, being human as we are,

     What do you think we do?

We need to classify them all

     Like creatures in a zoo.


We do not even know them yet,

    But split them into 'kind'.

We feel the need to label them

     In our world of humankind.


We judge and then we categorize

   The others that we see,

But, beware of appraising others –

  They’re surveying you and me!


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By Josie Whitehead

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Talking Point: Do we really put people into categories as soon as we meet them?  Do we judge people on the way they dress, their age, their accents, their colour etc?  Are we sometimes surprised when we really get to know people?  Who has surprised you?  My secret is:  When I tell people I write poems for children, their faces usually change.  They smile and are quick with a question.  Here I can tell people I have 400 poems in 5 books in our local library, and they are pleased with this.  But I guess I have other things in my life that could interest them too, ha ha  What could you tell me that would interest me in you?  Josie