As far as first impressions go, I always refer to the wise words a young man named Travis once told me. “If you actively choose to behave in a certain way, or project a certain style or image- don’t be surprised when complete strangers make certain assumptions about your character.”
Travis explained this philosophy to me this as he nonchalantly and willingly accepted the fact that others naturally assumed he was a sketchy trouble-maker because he had gauged ears, multiple tattoos, wore baggy pants with over-sized hoodies- and carried himself in an assertive way that bordered on arrogance.
Travis, wise young man that he was, knew that a good first impression never came around twice. He also never once asked himself WTF when someone made the mistake of assuming he was anything other than a college graduate, a hard worker, and an honest young man with a sense of compassion for others struggles.
Would you believe me if I told you that these two men hold a PhD from Harvard- that one is a brain surgeon and the other an astrophysicist? No? WHY NOT?
Or, how about this girl? Would you believe she is a straight A student, lead vocalist in her church choir, and on her way to MIT? No? WHY NOT?
What about this young man? Would you believe he helps little old ladies across the street and volunteers at the local animal shelter? That he is planning on attending Princeton and obtaining a Masters Degree in Sociology? No? WHY NOT?
The truth about these people is that none of them deserve to die. Just as Trayvon did not deserve to die. However- First impressions are very powerful. I’m am willing to bet that you have your own opinion regarding the people in these photos. The truth is that these people are like everyone else. In order to fit in with their discriminating peers, they adopt a lemming mentality and do NOT take into account that there are the others who will judge them by way of first, second, and third impressions. This is where the concepts “birds of a feather stick together” and “guilty by association” come into play. Sorry- I don’t make the social rules…..I just observe them.
I’m not saying George Zimmerman was right…..nor am I saying Trayvon Martin was wrong. What I’m saying is that we are all responsible for not making assumptions about people we don’t know. Just as important, we also all have a personal responsibility when it comes to what sort of impression we make on others with our behavior and dress code. We can’t dress and act shady and expect others to think we’re angels.
It is time to let go of making excuses and fix what is wrong. It is time to let go of hating other people because our because our friends do. Or, because our mothers and fathers did….and their parents did before them…..and so on back through the generations. Unless I am completely wrong…..we all bleed the same color.
I have no right, and neither do you, to say ethnic slurs about anybody, whether I am black, white, asian or latino. It makes no difference what race any of us are, wrong is wrong, even if it is said within your peer group. The problem is not about race- the problem is thinking that you are different and entitled………….instead of thinking how much you are the same and just as entitled.
Every one of these children below deserve to grow up and be whatever they want; to live life to their fullest human potential- absent parental, cultural, and peer pressure to conform to a certain style, behavior, linguistic code or other social dictate that breeds or implies violence and ignorance, and hatred for one another. NEVER forget that the very first impressions made on a human baby are the thoughts, beliefs, and cultural “norms” that PARENTS impress upon their child.
Tabula Rasa………………….Nuff said!