The girl with the rabbit tattoo

Is perception reality? It might as well be and having said that, what is your persona and how different is it from reality?

The white rabbit was in reference to the Matrix movie, but essentially dealt with a ‘real’ world and one that was not. It was hard to tell what was real. I also wanted to include a tattoo reference because it ties in with my message.

I have read the posts where people think you shouldn’t judge someone based on their persona, their words or their appearance. And I will be the first to say sometime we need to be much less judgmental before we know the person or all the ‘facts’. However, impressions can be powerful and lasting and makes it hard to be totally objective if all the stimuli is telling you one thing but the person is saying something entirely different.

Judge not lest you be judged

Let me go biblical for a moment but offer this explanation.

Usually that verse is used like a hammer to immediately stop any discussion about the rightness or wrongness of a persons behavior. Almost invariably if someone claims that a certain action or behavior is wrong, someone will say, “But we are not to judge anyone”. The clear implication is that we can never say if some behavior or actions are ok or not because we are not to judge. Sometimes these words are shouted out in anger and rage, “You can’t judge me!”.

What is possibly more amazing than the fact that so many people quote this biblical verse and the concept of not judging, is that so many people could get the real meaning so completely wrong. This is especially true since the context in the Good Book makes it clear what the intent was. It was written that we should not judge unless we be judged also, it was not saying that we are to never judge if behavior is right or wrong. What it does is gives us caution to make sure that we are willing to be judged by the same standard of judgment. This verse is not a warning against judging an action. It is a warning against self deception and hypocrisy; a look in the mirror if you will.

In other words, maybe don’t be so quick to judge, right?

Hi, my name is….

How important are first impressions? Usually when we meet somebody for the first time, our judgment begins with anything that affects our five senses; but primarily our sense of sight, smell, hearing, and in some cases touch. I’ve left out taste because unless you’re a cannibal or Edward Cullen, this really shouldn’t be a sense that plays into a first impression! Everything from our appearance, how we talk, and whether or not we practice good hygiene (your nose will let you know that right away) is immediately jotted down in another individual’s thought. Depending how we evaluate these things, it plays a part in a person’s initial bias towards us.

Can you make a second first impression; can you overcome this initial bias?

Lori Gosselin had a great post at Life for Instance on this very topic; see how her community weighed in.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover

Or can you? If somebody has pre-judged you, is it the same as reality; even if it couldn’t be further from the truth?

What made me think to write this post was reading Erika Napoletano’s Bitch Slap last week. She had taken offense to somebody ‘suggesting’ what people’s impression of her is based on her appearance and choice of words. I hope I took the right meaning from her post, ’cause she will bitch slap ya…..I’ve seen it…..

My point is:

We are all going to pre-judge to a certain degree based on the stimuli we are receiving. Therefore, are you selling out if you don’t think you are being the ‘real’ you in the way you dress and talk because you feel you need to conform to ‘fit in’?

Should we be able to withhold all judgment until we actually get to know someone and make sure we don’t make assumptions unless we have walked a mile in their shoes?

I know there is no right or wrong answer, but where is the happy medium? Who are we to judge, right?

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59 thoughts on “The girl with the rabbit tattoo

  1. First impressions do count. Like it or not, people tend to remember that you know? And also insist it is “gut” feeling. Could very well be – but there’s also the possibility that it may not be right. Although it is easy to be non-judgmental, will we withhold any judgment until we get all the facts? I don’t know – because if there are other influences at work, who knows where our thoughts might go! :-) I like to consider myself non-judgmental and always give the benefit of the doubt. And no, never judge a book by its cover. Heck, I once got a book without a cover. So there!

    • I too try to be less judgmental until I know all the ‘facts’. Obviously first impressions have an impact and your gut will dictate how easy it is to change that impression should something warrant it.

      It has been written that catchy blog post titles attract attention; I have probably read a book or two just on the title alone.

      Trust me, I would be the last one to cast the first stone. As long as you aren’t trying to force anything on me, I’m a pretty much ‘live and let live’ kind of guy. Nobody died and left me in charge so it’s not my place to cast judgment on anything, regardless what my personal belief’s are, right?

      So good to see you; hope you had a great weekend.

  2. I think that it is virtually impossible to overlook a first impression entirely. We are programmed to draw conclusions based on those stimuli you noted. But if you can take a step back, after having drawn those conclusions, and challenge the instinct to judge – then you’ll likely create a more accurate picture.

    You may know my 14 year old daughter has Down syndrome. The first impression that she leaves with most people is pretty visceral. She looks different. She sounds different. She sometimes behaves differently. People are naturally uncomfortable with ‘difference’. They also have preconceived ideas of what Down syndrome is. I certainly did – before Julia was born.

    But if people rejected those notions and challenged the ‘first impression’, they would come to realize that Julia is smart, funny, sneaky, curious. She loves Justin Bieber and Facebook and Big Time Rush. She is an unbelievable dancer (she danced last week at the Toronto Raptors half-time show). Julia does triple digit addition and can calculate a shape’s perimeter and area. She has lots of friends. She hopes to get married one day; and she would really love to work with children.

    Not the sort of conclusions you would draw from a first impression of my spirited girl.

    In any case, I think it’s runs contrary to our nature to reject those first impressions, but I think that if we want to experience a richer and more informed point of view, it’s something we need to work hard to accomplish. We need to dig deeper.

    Great post Bill!

    • Interesting analogy about your daughter, because that is probably where it’s most prevalent. Probably the best thing to do when dealing with someone who is mentally or physically ‘challenged’ is to just act normal and don’t start acting all weird or different.

      Your daughter sounds like a remarkable girl.

      First impressions do have an impact. However, I know of a couple of situations where I met some people and felt there was no way we could be friends and they ended up not only turning out to be friends, but good friends as well (one was best man in my wedding, the other has been my right-hand assistant at work for the last 12 yrs). Therefore, the less judgmental we can be and allow the opportunity to ‘know’ these people before we start making decisions is probably a good thing.

      Through my volunteer efforts w/ Guardian ad Litem I am introduced to some pretty whacked out family situations. What I read in a case file does not always match up with what I have to deal with in person. I really need to be neutral for the kid’s sake so I can recommend what’s best for them.

      Reality? Who am I to judge anyway; nobody left me in charge of that.

      Good to see you; hope you have a great week.

  3. There has to be a judgement about how we see our world or we couldn’t grow. The key is to ask questions about what we see or hear or read. It boils down to intentions. I can ask someone if how I perceive them or something they’ve created was intended to be judged the way I saw it, giving them a chance to explain. That’s what relationship-building is all about. After clarification is given and THEN we say things that shame another person (you are bad, ignorant, etc.) then we’ve established our rules to be judged by them. Until that conversation happens, we’re all just making conversation. Everyone should be given the chance to explain and to hear how they are being perceived thus giving them the choice to do something (or not) about the perception.
    I deleted another post of mine this morning because I was made aware that I came across in a way that I hadn’t intended. I was grateful that someone told me how they read it so that I could decide whether or not I wanted to leave it to send that message. Same goes for anything we say, wear, or do. We can’t control people’s perceptions, but we’d be fools to think we are invisible and have no effect on others.

    • I mentioned Erika because she does a great job of staying true to herself and knows it might not always be the ‘popular’ or conforming track. But it’s her; I don’t personally know her but I have a strong feeling that what you see is what you get and you will certainly know where you stand with her. And there is nothing wrong with that.

      On a scale of 1-10 I have acquaintances up and down the board. Some might be my workout buddies, some might be my tennis or golfing buddies, some might be my drinking buddies and some might be my customers. All of them bring something different to the party and some I would trust more than others; that doesn’t mean I won’t associate with them, nor will I judge them. I just have given them time for me to form my own opinions and I can determine the level of my association with them accordingly.

      The day I become perfect, then maybe I can stand in judgment. Until then, most of that stuff I just need to keep to myself don’t you think?

      How people react to you is probably a pretty good indication of their perception of you unless you are oblivious. If you are ok with that, then there should really be no surprises.

      Good to see you; thanks for stopping by.

  4. “What it does is gives us caution to make sure that we are willing to be judged by the same standard of judgment.”

    Bingo. That’s it. I think it’s virtually impossible not to judge – we’re human beings, after all. The question is, are we willing to stand up to that same scrutiny?

    We all say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and so on, but I’d like to meet someone who does not actually do that…!

    • Impossible not to judge, but what you do with this judgment dictated by your words and actions makes all the difference in the world.

      We have all seen enough hypocrisy in the political and religious arena that makes it very easy for me to step back and form my own opinions instead of someone telling me how I should be thinking.

      I see the ‘big’ announcement has been made; congratulations and I look forward to hearing about your new journey. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey Bill!
    Thanks for the mention but all the credit for that discussion goes to Melanie! I like how you spin away from it and clarify the meaning of the biblical passage. (You tell ‘em!) I’ve thought about this passage a lot too. I think it may also mean that if you are judging other people you will be assuming they are judging you too, so that in your judging, you are judged. How do we know someone is judging us? More often than not, I’d guess, we don’t – it’s in our own minds, you know, the same minds that judge! LOL
    We can’t help but come to a first impression! We’re wired that way! Maybe we can leave the jury out for a bit, though, reserving final judgement for a while. Or maybe we can remind ourselves that on a not-so-resourceful day we might not do any better – there but for the grace of God go I…
    I hope you’re coming to the hangout this week!
    Lori

    • People are judging us every minute, but is our perception of who we are matching up with how we are being judge? Is there a huge disconnect with reality vs perception, or are we pretty close to our true selves.

      I mentioned Erika because she seems to be able to ‘do her own thing’ and doesn’t give much thought on how others think about her. I will confess however, I do give thought to this so I’m more apt to ‘conform’ than be a rebel. Does that make me plain vanilla at times? Probably, but I’m not one much for drama. Maybe at it’s core, that’s just who I am anyway. I want to be Mr Excitement………..:).

      The good thing about social and in real life, I can live through some of these personalities I hang with and enjoy them for their uniqueness.

      I’m guessing if you are having a hangout it’s probably going to be on Wednesday at 1:00 pm. I have a tentative 1:30 pm out of the office so if that doesn’t happen, I can make it.

      Good to see you; thanks for stopping by.

  6. There is no getting over first impressions. Not ever. Yes, we can stop those first impressions from becoming beliefs and the basis on which we judge others; but there always will be a first impression and then we can take things from there!

    We really can’t help it when others are judging us; because we have been doing it ourselves. We did look at the girl with the rabbit tattoo and think a few things. But then classifying the girls with the rabbit tattoo’s into a category is where we are going wrong.

    Have first impressions, but try to find out whether they hold value.

    • Yes, and we can take things from there. The challenge is, sometimes the first impression is the only impression we have of someone so we have to be careful making assumptions when we really don’t know that person, right?

      I won’t lie, when I see tats on a girl, my first impression is not that she is loose and fast, but certainly adventurous with a certain air of uncertainty about her. It makes we want to know what really makes her tick. I’m ok withholding any judgment until I know them.

      Hopefully, perception is close enough to reality that people don’t have this huge disconnect when they finally get to know you. Because I do work in a business environment and wear a tie most of the time, I have had people tell me I’m not as ‘stuffy’ as they thought I’d be. Me, stuffy? Ha…….

      Good to see you ma’am; I hope your weekend went well.

  7. Bill, you’ve taken it deep.

    Matthew 7 is an interesting chapter. By the end of the chapter, Christ says that these things of which he speaks is… wisdom to live.

    It begins with judgment.

    “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” Matthew 7:1 NASB

    Verse 1 to 5 relates to us the problematic that we are as flawed as others and that our flaw should be our greater concern.

    By verse six, however, Christs commands us to judge others and act decisively in regards to such judgment.

    “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6 NASB

    In other words, others can be dangerous and, therefore, you must discern whether or not they are worthy of your confidence, friendship, and trust – lest they bring harm upon you.

    Myself, I find Christ’s encounter with the adulterous woman to illuminate this question of judgment.

    In John, Chapter 8, the religious scholars and Pharisees bring forward a woman caught in the act of adultery. The law requires her to be stoned to death. Christ writes upon the ground:

    “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 NASB

    No one condemns the woman to death after Christ has spoken.

    Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” John 8:10

    “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

    In fact, the woman has been judged and she has been found guilty – even by Christ. She has scandalized the community in her rejection of the moral and civil laws of the community.

    However, Christ has saved her from condemnation. She has been judged, she is guilty, and she is treated mercifully. This time.

    She has received a warning and a second chance. There is no guarantee that if she does it again and gets caught that she will receive the same dispensation.

    My two cents. And my heart goes out to Ruth and her daughter.

    • Ha, I was only drawing in the sand; you went and dug the well. And yes, the whole passage went much deeper than just what I felt was the intent about not judging action per se.

      I think some of our political and religious leaders are quick to judge based on their beliefs. However, there is enough hypocrisy to go around in these arenas that I tend to take most with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, because they are in leadership positions they seem to hold more credence. I guess we could also quote the ‘beware of false prophets’ too, huh?

      I’m glad you weighed in with your two cents; I could never go toe to toe with you on biblical knowledge, that I know.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by; I’ll come by your place later.

      • Hypocrisy merely represents our own struggle with truth – and, honestly, I don’t get excited by it like I did when I was kid. I am the greatest hypocrite and sinner that I know. [grin] In other words, I struggle with what is truth and how to live it in the face of fears, misunderstandings, and, yes, occasions of sin.

        I felt badly that I didn’t mention that in my original comment. I know that some felt I was judging them, but really I don’t get hung up on a person’s problems as it may seem by my bible thumping- so long as there is some conscience going on and such problems do not break the universe. [laughing]

        I have broken bread with criminals – suits that put people to die by their business decisions and made a killing by doing so. And also the ordinary criminals of ordinary imaginations.

        In fact, I appreciate a little bit of hypocrisy in what others say or do – especially if they can recognize it. Also, rarely am I confident of the man or woman who demonstrates none.

        A little bit of hypocrisy is more than acceptable. It’s human. And if they can recognize it and they don’t have a split personality disorder, that often makes them better people.

        Speaking of first impressions, I find that they don’t mean much – though we all live and swear by them (myself included). First impressions only suggest what the other understands of our/their customs, rituals, and signs – it has almost nothing to do with who they are, what they want, and what they hope.

        But I could be mistaken. It wouldn’t be the first time…

  8. Human beings are judging and assessing each other all the time; it’s part of the human package. The difference (and the power) lies in what we do with that judgment, ie: bullying being one extreme, and to a lesser degree, what that schmuck assumed about Erika.

    I’m human, I still have judgments but I do my best to keep my mind open and this has lead to being pleasantly surprised many, many times – proving that my judgments had very little to do with reality!

    • You said package…………..:).

      We are judging, all.the.time. Whatever your belief system is impacts how you assimilate and disseminate this stimuli.

      The challenge is, not to be so quick to judge in totality and be judicious with what comes out of your mouth.

      Especially when it comes to religions and politics; it’s ALL somebody’s opinion and whoever’s opinion it is, I don’t think they are any more qualified than me to judge so I take it all with a grain of salt.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment; always much appreciated. I hope you have a great week.

  9. So, if I say “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.” it’s a bad thing? I am hoping this is fodder for your book.

    In my business (the business I work for), as I could assume yours too, first impressions are the difference between Kraft Dinner and steak (yes, I respect Kraft Dinner enough to capitaize it). Funny story. We just did a 2hr interactive meeting with our comms specialist this morning on our “elevator pitch” to sell what we do. Now, THAT’s a tough job and timely to your post. Bill, how do you do it?

    I find the best thing I can do is be genuine. It seems to go a long way. The comms specialist told us that we should never say that we are “nice people”. It’s apparently death. If you tell someone you’re nice then you likely aren’t. Not sure if I am buying that line but what did resonate with me is that your actions should speak for you. So, BEING a nice guy gets you somewhere.

    So, first impressions, be who you are and let your actions speak for you. Just don’t act like a dick or do, whatever. I won’t judge you if you are a dick. I just won’t talk to you again.

    That’s my take.

    • You big bully; my grandmother made some shirts for me one time and one was pretty bad. My friends called it the woodchuck shirt and not in an endearing way. Guess which shirt I only wore once was………:).

      Ah, the elevator pitch and how to sound conversational instead of a canned pitch. If you can’t, you might as well just have the card and read straight off of it. My challenge is because I joke around a lot and self-delusional how witty I am, there is a definite change when I put on my ‘business-face’.

      My pitch, ‘I bring you money when you need it most’………:).

      Likability helps in my opinion and you can be likable but still tough as nails when you are negotiating on behalf of your customer. I wouldn’t want to do business with someone I dreaded making an appointment with; I don’t care how good they were….and that’s my take…..

      Good to see you sir; thanks for dropping by today. Hope you are well.

      • I am actually 4ft 2…….(kidding). I think a woodchuck shirt would be cool. Was it brown? It needed to be brown. Send it my way if you still have it.

    • It was brown, and not a good brown either. I don’t think I fully appreciated the fact my grandmother was willing to ‘make’ a shirt for me, but that shirt was dropping me way off the ‘cool’ scale…..:)

    • I guess first impressions are somewhat important to me because in ‘sales’ there are many occasions when I am trying to establish a potential business relationship w/ someone who doesn’t know me; that first 10 seconds could very well make or break me.

      Yes, it does happen all the time and I will say the majority of the time my first impression was spot on. However, I do try to keep an open mind, especially if it was not a good first impression.

      Good to see you ma’am; thanks for the drive by. Did you get more snow last week? I’ve put my snow shovel away for the year; I think we’ll be pretty safe at this point.

      • Love drivin’ by. And wow…some of the comments here are full-fledged posts in themselves. Impressive! I’m a woman of few words, but hopefully significant ones:)

        I thought we were safe but we got another small flurry of snow activity. Crossing my fingers that it’s now gone. Sunny today, but COLD. But boy, is it ever nice to run on bare pavement rather than mounds of snow and ice. Snowshoes:)

    • My concern is the fact we have had a very mild winter meaning the gulf waters stayed relatively warm. The warmer the waters the more powerful the hurricane’s. Maybe that won’t be the case, but I have a feeling there will be one or two big ones at least.

  10. I teach my children to be judgmental and I haven’t any problems with it. I tell them they should judge people based upon their actions but we also talk about how to assess a person based upon looks.

    It is because they need to develop the ability to try and determine if that other person is safe or a threat.

    i understand what your point here is and I mostly agree with it, but we all have our opinions based upon what we see and read.

    Signed,

    Grumpy and happy

    • Hey Grumpy, I’m widya. Maybe it’s easier for us as we get older and wiser; or maybe it’s more difficult because some of this gets ingrained.

      But I’m sure you have a few stories you could share where you were judged based on your religion alone. And maybe that drives some of your thinking………or maybe not……..

      I’m a middle aged, middle class, pasty, fat, white, Methodist male. I am the evil incarnate because we are blamed for all that is wrong in America. Do I lose sleep over what other’s think of me……..nah….it’s still good to be me, just ask.

      Good to see you my friend; maybe Charles Barkley could help you with Weight Watchers………….oh wait, maybe he could help me too….

      • Hah, I get death threats because of my religion and have seen a few things. Wish I was exaggerating.

        Remember the terrorist attacks in Mumbai a few years back. One of the sites of the attacks was the Chabad house. My cousins were there less than a week before the attack and several of my friends had stayed there.

        Yeah, I have stories.

  11. Another thought provoking post Bill…

    I do believe that first impressions hold a lot of weight but there have been plenty times myself when my second and third impression really just threw the first one right out the window.

    I can’t remember where I read it now but there was an experiment of some sorts where they had a guy dress up like a homeless man and had him come into a coffee shop. They got the first impressions of the people who had met him. In their minds some were wondering if he’d lost his job and home and why he was so filthy. The fact that he wasn’t homeless at all never crossed their mind, they just jumped to that conclusion because of the way he was dressed.

    The entire intention of that experiment was to prove to people that our first impressions may not always be right. What we perceive to be and what is isn’t always the same.

    I know that at times people are so eager to impress people that they get so nervous and totally fall over over themselves. Bad first impression for sure.

    I don’t claim to be perfect but I do my best to not judge others before I know more about them. We never know their circumstances or who they really are until we give them a chance.

    Got us thinking for sure Bill but you’re so good at that.

    Have a great week my friend.

    • Yes, we don’t need to be so quick to judge because we don’t know what is going on in their lives. However, some people seem to go out of their way to make sure they are non-conformists and make it very difficult for people to keep a neutral position. Oh well, it takes all types and that is what makes the world go ’round, right?

      I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by; I do know as you get more purposeful with your business plan it might cut into some of your social visits and I certainly understand that. I do know where to find you however, and best of luck to you in 2012; I know you will do well.

    • Oops, I know that must have been aggravating. What if I send The Rock by, will that make you feel better?

      I’m sure it had something to do with my crappy free site; maybe I’ll take up a collection and see if someone will help me pay to go self-hosted.

      I do appreciate you dropping by……….stranger………but I’m sorry it wasn’t a wow experience for you today. Hope you have been well and had a great weekend.

  12. Hi Bill!!! How are you?? This post really makes one think. Casting judgment on others is something we are very quick to do and yet, we feel hurt or angry if others cast judgment on us. In Buddhism the term impermanence is used to explain that everything that we do or experience is “impermanent”…kind of “here now and fleeting” in the next moment. Because of the impermanence of life, perhaps we should focus less on the judgments and more on the experience. (I know…this sounds way too deep and philosophical…I must be feeling very zen-ish right now) While first impressions are powerful, if we allow ourselves to be swayed by one/first impression without experiencing more of the person, we are short changing ourselves of a beautiful potential. (OMG…I now sound beatific) I’d better stop before I start really waxing philosophical here….
    ((hugs))
    Claudia

    • We bee bop along having this nice little mental of ourselves and then somebody comes along with something entirely different. We are like ‘whoa now, that’s not me’. Of course, in my minds eye I think I still look like I’m 20 until I see a picture of me and think ‘who is that guy’?

      I like your mid-eastern philosophical slant on this; I’m guessing you hypnotize your patients instead of using Novocaine too, huh?

      What about celebrities and public figures who you might only meet once? You see the ‘public’ side of them and form your opinions but it could be entirely different.

      It’s only human nature to form opinions I suppose, but it is a good thing to allow yourself to know them deeper before putting them in a certain box, right?

      So good to see you; thanks for the comments and stopping by.

      • Hahaha….I don’t “hypnotize” but I definitely create a quiet and “zen-like” atmosphere so that fears are more easily conquered. Spa music and calm talk really helps!

        As far as celebrities and public figures…you are right…you only see that one dimensional side that they present to you. I guess I don’t think about it much because I am way more interested in “real” connections that are sustaining and not superficial connections that won’t be mutually rewarding. Does that make sense? I SO like getting to really know someone and make a deeper connection than to have shallow and superficial relationships!!

        Claudia

    • Zen like, huh? So what are you saying, you have them smoke weed instead?

      Celebrity itself does not impress me and I do try not to judge these people (too much) based on what I see or read in the press. It’s probably a catch-22; you try to so hard to climb the ladder and be recognized, but then the spotlight gets a little too bright and you get singed.

      Everybody we know and encounter falls somewhere differently on our spectrum and even that is subject to change, right?

  13. Hi Bill,

    I went to a initial presentation years ago (I think it’s been about 10). But anyway I was trying to get this client’s business and I met with two parters of this particular firm for about 45 minutes. It went extremely well I thought, but after shaking their hands at the close of the meeting one of the guys said. “Maybe you should clean that poop off your shirt.”

    Huh?! … Well it turns out a seagull had dropped a bomb on my shirt before the presentation and I was so nervous I didn’t even know it. To this day I don’t know if the guy was just being polite through the meeting and finally had to guts to say something, or if he was just chuckling away the entire time.

    Oh, I’m sure I was forever remembered as the poop guy, but I did get the job and they never brought it up again.

    Man, sorry about that ramble.

    Humans can’t help judging, it’s just the way we are, but I don’t like labels. It really is more about how we as individuals handle ourselves in a response to any situation (read judgement). I just try my best to not let first impressions mean that much, because they really don’t. People are way to complex.

    With all that being said, I work really hard at creating a great first impression at every client meeting I go to and now I really watch out for the infamous Seattle Seagulls.

    • Or, the zipper down guy; or the chive on the tooth guy; actually, it might have helped because they felt sorry for you, right? Whatever it takes………..:).

      Because I’m a middle of the road non-confrontational type guy, if the first impression of me is wrong I would rather them err to something conservative or business or reserved as opposed to a dick-wad. But if the shoe fits, huh…………

      The classic is the parents/grandparents that are all aghast when the kids roll out with some of the stuff they do. I prefer to let kids be kids and not judge them; they will figure it out soon enough….hopefully…

      Good to see you sir; appreciate the visit. I hope all is well in the Soaking Seattle area……..

      I met a guy Sunday who grew up on a dairy farm in the B’more area; made me think of you. He now lives in Maine of all places…..covering all corners I suppose…………

  14. I get your larger point Bill, which is, I think, to look in the mirror first. Glass houses and stones, and all of that.

    I do believe that we should accept the reality that we all judge automatically — the scientific data seems to be pretty clear that we form snap judgements subconsciously before our conscious mind has even had a chance to form a coherent thought. So, we should understand that so that we can be aware of and try to control how we judge.

    • Here’s my take; if you dress, act and talk a certain way and that is the only way I know you then it’s only human nature for me to make assumptions and put you in a ‘certain’ box. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge at times, but what signals/message are you sending me and how does that match up w/ others who look, act and talk like you?

      The one thing that is zero-tolerance in my book are people who cross the line and put their hands on someone just because the way they are dressed or acting. That doesn’t mean they are open game even though everything they are doing seems to be saying otherwise.

      It’s a fine line especially when your actions ‘appear’ to be saying one thing but you are telling me something else. However, I feel I do a pretty good job of withholding judgment until I have enough info to go on.

      Good to see you sir; hope all is well in your ‘hood’ today.

  15. You Don’t Even Know Me
    You Say That I’m Not Living Right
    You Don’t Understand Me
    So Why Do You Judge My Life?
    -Armand Van Helden

    One of my favorite songs. First impressions are very important. We often are surprised when we are wrong based on them. And we have to be careful about judging people because kharma is a bitch.

    What is sad is how many people thump the bible in judgment yet refuse to behave in the same way. Jesus loved everyone not just straight people. He gave up worldly possessions vs shopping for his 4th Mercedes. He championed the poor and fought the rich and powerful. He was a revolutionary. And he would never start a war or a fight.

    Which goes to us all. If we are going to talk the talk we have to walk the walk. So I will say now that I will just judge Pete Cashmore until I meet him ok!?

    • Pete will sleep much better now……

      Especially in the name of religion is there plenty of hypocrisy to go around; do as I say, not as I do, huh? Is it ok to preach the good life if you don’t think it applies to you?

      I have certainly been surprised both ways; a person I met in my youth that I thought was the biggest A-hole ended up being best man in my wedding…………of course, I couldn’t get anybody else but that’s a different story……..:).

      Whatever you believe, consider the source, where did it come from, was it just the prevailing opinion at a particular time in history, etc? Nobody knows for certain so don’t be so quick to jump on somebody else’s interpretation, just because it sounds good….or you had good hair that day you were talking about it……..

      In the words of Rodney King, ‘can’t we all just get along’?

      Good to see you Howie, thanks for the comments and ‘special’ appearance. I hope you have been well.

  16. I’ve read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and it deals with how short it takes to make a first impression and how important that impression is (and a lot more). It’s very interesting to see that it many times takes less than 10 seconds, and that we’ll base a lot of decisions on those 3-10 seconds :)

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