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I’m Spanish and I wanna get tattooed a phrase that I always say but in English instead. It’s something like ‘You can’t judge someone for something he hasn’t chosen’ I know it is not right like that, that’s why I want to find the right way to say it. E.g A person has a big nose and there is this guy always laughing at her because of that. That person was born like that, is not something that she could choose

The father of a kid is an alcoholic, but that doesn’t mean he is going to be an alcoholic too when he is older.

I don’t know if it’s a bit more clear now!

Thanks anyway

closed as primarily opinion-based by Cascabel, Hellion, JJJ, Reinstate Monica, Davo Jun 12 at 18:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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*The sins of the Father are not the sins of the Son"

Variations of this are available all over the web, like the link given. They derive from biblical quotes, such as

Why is not the son charged with the guilt of his father?

—Ezekiel 18:19

The passage is generally interpreted to match the context you give closely.

  • Good phrase, but I feel it's not tattoo material. – DJClayworth Jun 12 at 16:56
  • @DJClayworth I agree. Plus ... you have to have a really, really long arm. – jimm101 Jun 12 at 17:08
  • @DJClayworth I dunno. I think that it'd work as a back tattoo, though it might make people think that you were a Russian mobster or something if they saw it. – nick012000 Jun 13 at 6:31
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Don't judge a book by its cover. (Or You can't judge a book by its cover.)

From Wikipedia:

The English idiom "don't judge a book by its cover" is a metaphorical phrase which means "you shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone". For example "That man may look very small and insignificant, but don't judge a book by its cover – he's a very powerful man in his circle"


But I give the same caution as a comment under your question. Don't take my word for this idiom. Look it up online and see the examples of its use. Make sure it really is something you want to use. (Assuming there isn't another answer that you like more.)

Update: In response to a comment, the idiom is metaphorical, which means it can cover not just physical appearances but also assumptions in general. It doesn't need to apply merely to things that are visual.

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    I think that phrase is making a different point to the one that Carla wants. That says, don't judge by what you can see, but the original question goes further and says, Don't judge by even what you can't see, when the person never had a chance to be any different. – Colin Fine Jan 16 at 23:02
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    I think this one is perfect, thank you so much!! x – Carla.R Jan 18 at 17:14
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“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” —John C. Maxwell

I have a lot of tattoos, personally I like ones that create conversation. Looking at your scenario about the alcoholic farther then Mark Twain has a quote that fits:

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

What this translates to is that because climate is based on patterns and predictions of what has happened in the past that is what we expect, however, life/nature/people have choices.

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