So, back in July it was Natalie’s 21st Birthday. I arrived at her house with presents galore from myself, my family and friends, all in celebration of Natalie’s special day. Whilst in Clinton’s buying the card, my eyes were drawn to a large colourful hat with candles sticking out the top. The child in me was just desperate to buy this, not least for myself, let alone Natalie. With no hesitation, the words going through my head were, ‘Wouldn’t that be a great asset to Natalie’s new dress that she’s going to wear to the meal this evening?’ I could already hear Natalie’s disapproved voice in my head as I smiled at the multicolored accessory. Natalie is certainly not one for wearing exuberant clothing, that one might find amongst the costumes of circus performers.
So, in the bag it went, ready to crown Natalie with it on arrival to her house. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought as I drove the short journey. I knocked the door and greeted her with all the presents watching the smile appear on her face as she unwrapped various boxes, bags and packages. Just as she was coming to her final present, I announced that I had one more thing to share. I’m not entirely sure what she was expecting, but a look of interest, yet slight concern developed. Did she expect something romantic, something expensive or something really special? I’m not sure, but all that mattered at that moment was the crowning of the hat.
Without space for hesitation, we soon placed the hat on Natalie’s head and the attention was now focused on her. Natalie’s facial expression somewhat changed from ‘Very funny’ to ‘Tom, I hate you‘. I placed the hat firmly on her head, like a strange form of knighthood. I was proud. Her dad laughed. Yet, the smiling twenty-one year old face soon became a face of disapproval and embarrassment. As she stood against her mirror looking at herself in this ridiculous hat, we suddenly noticed a little error.
The front of the hat read, ‘HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY!’
Ah well, we can just save the hat for another twenty-nine years.
When I first saw the hat in the shop, I had made my decision. I didn’t bother to investigate further because in my mind, I had already chosen to buy it. My mind was made up and nothing was to stop me from rushing to Natalie’s in excitement.
So often, we make judgements far too quickly. We base our ultimate views on someone or something from our first impression, yet I would suggest that taking a second, third or even fourth look at things is always worth it. We can often gain a fresh perspective when we look again.
Maybe we looked from the wrong angle, maybe we were influenced by others or maybe we just had to take the risk of accepting it and then discovering what lies ahead.
Can you share a time when your first impression was wrong?
How were you pleasantly surprised when you looked again?
What or who have you currently rejected on the basis of first impressions? Are you willing to take another look?
Discuss….Please add your own thoughts…