Why is it that first impressions are so important? Passing a judgement on somebody within a few seconds of meeting them - everything from their character to their "social status" to their rough annual wage - is something we all subconsciously do, and judging a book by it's cover has become the order of the day. But I feel like recently every single judgement that I have formulated about a person has turned out to be not only wrong but the complete opposite of reality - and I am usually pretty good at figuring people out (well I thought so anyway..).
So the other day I met this hijabi and got on with her well, we were cracking jokes and having a laugh and things were going just dandy. An hour in and she suddenly turned sour and started calling me out (rather loudly) for not having my fringe tucked into my headscarf. She was all like "well what's the point in wearing it then?" I ignored her rudeness and just tucked it back in but from then on every time I would see her she'd ask why I was wearing this and that and why I push my sleeves up and why I say "hi" instead of "salam" etccc. I carried on being normal with her and assumed that she must be a bit of a hardcore Muslim.
That's until I found out yesterday that she has a boyfriend. And she told me really nonchalantly as well. I found it quite difficult to bite my tongue and not ask her why, exactly, she had been harassing me about everything I wear/do if she is so "liberal".
Anyway, yesterday I saw some very typical white builder in a high vis jacket. He was sat with "the guys" guffawing at something or other and covered in white paint. I admit I assumed they must just be checking out the ladies.
Today, I saw him doing wudu. I thought for a second that he might be fixing the plumbing or something, but no.
Last Friday I saw some black guy in a suit and dreadlocks walking into the prayer room. I thought, damn he's lost. Later, I saw him walking out of juma, shoes in hand.
Today I met a very oddly dressed English woman, she was nice enough but all my superficial self could focus on was her clothing choice.
I later heard surat Ya-Sin coming from her computer. Turns out she constantly listens to the Quran because she says it has this beautiful calming effect on her. What's more, she reads it and knows some Arabic. Without even meaning to, I had judged her character to the point that I would not have believed it if I hadn't heard her saying it.
Going back to my original question, I think that first impressions are so important because of how wrong and misleading they can often be. Don't ever let your initial opinion of somebody cloud your judgement, give them a chance, you might be surprised.
[I don't know about you guys but I rarely read large chunks of text on peoples' blogs if the title doesn't interest me, so if you got this far, clearly you aren't as judgemental as I am and you don't need a week of moral awaking like I do :( ..]