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I am writing an essay in which someone underestimates something because they think it is beneath them. Then, they realize it was actually very good, so I was a noun to convey the meaning of not underestimating the potential of something?

I really liked "don't judge a book by its cover," but I need a noun, and I feel that is too cliche. I want to sound more thoughtful.

Sample sentence:

At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I learned having "the quality of not underestimating the potential of this experience" was essential for life.

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    Can you provide the sentence? As I read it right now, "underestimation" itself seems to work... – Scripter1000 Sep 30 '17 at 16:34
  • Misjudgment would work, I think. Unless there's more to it. A sample sentence, please. – Ricky Sep 30 '17 at 16:37
  • Oh, and wanting to sound more thoughtful is kind of comical. – Ricky Sep 30 '17 at 16:38
  • @Ricky Why? and I provided the sentence in the last edit – Pablo Sep 30 '17 at 16:39
  • It would really help if you could supply the "it" of "...it was beneath me", or a general hint. Reformulating the chemical properties of aspirin? – tblue Oct 12 at 21:17
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"Open-mindedness" might do.

An open-minded person would be unlikely to prejudge a book by its cover, or to assume a thing was beneath them before they had looked into it more closely.

"... I learned that open-mindedness was essential for life."

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    The OP did request a noun, so a +1 from me. I might suggest that "I learned that having an open mind was essential for life" would feel more natural to me. (and really "having an open mind was invaluable quality to embrace" or something else on that order) – Tom22 Sep 30 '17 at 21:55
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Allow me to rephrase the sample sentences a little:

At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I realized that achieving full appreciation of certain phenomena required more time than I previously thought.

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You could try something like:

"After a period of contemplation, [my initial] disdane was replaced by an appreciation of the true facts."

  • 1
    Do you mean disdain? – Jim Oct 12 at 17:47
  • Yes... oops!.... – NeilB Oct 12 at 17:55
  • You can edit your posts to correct them – Matt E. Эллен Oct 13 at 11:26
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A snob is one who regards some things as beneath them. The practice of snobbery and comes in many sizes and shapes. I can't think of a way to negate apart from more words.

"I eventually found it was my snobbery that allowed me to overlook the essential component."

They should be holding themselves responsible for the overlooking but I can think of no other single word. I'll check back in a few minutes and find that ten have been provided.

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Depending on the lesson you want to convey, these might work for you:

  • At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I (was humbled because) I learned something new.
  • At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, my perspective changed.
  • At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I discovered new opportunities.
  • At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I developed empathy for ...
  • At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I realized the work was more nuanced / complex / ambiguous, etc.

All of the examples are generic, so if you have a particular example that illustrates the value of not underestimating, that could be more effective.

-1

At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I learned having "the quality of not underestimating the potential of this experience" was essential for life.

At first, I thought it was beneath me. However, after days of work, I discovered that I had underestimated the potential of [this 'diamond in the rough', emerging hidden gem] to become essential for life.

[Intriguing sentence...can't imagine what what this is referring to.]

  • Not much of an answer. (I'm not the person who downvoted you) You don't really suggest a word or new phrase. And, you don't even explain why what you've written is superior. This would be at best a comment. – David M Oct 12 at 20:14
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    Thanks. Realized it was incomplete but laptop froze during the edit and I forgot to revisit. – tblue Oct 12 at 20:25
  • No problem. Please consider revising or making it a comment. – David M Oct 12 at 20:26

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