A few days ago, I was watching on TV the quarter final of a cooking competition where the contestants were taken out of the regular venue to go cook in a restaurant that enjoys the patronage of high calibre customers. About fifty people (I think) were invited to the restaurant to eat the food prepared by these contestants, give their opinions and then grade them.
The 6 contestants were formed into two teams, Red and Blue, with three people in each team. They went ahead and prepared the meals as per the various orders that were sent into the kitchen within the standard time expected for those kinds of meals.
When meal time was over, the three judges came into the restaurant to address the patrons, asked for their opinions on what they thought about the food, thanked them for taking time to participate in the judging of the competition, and then went ahead to introduce the contestants.
To their amazement and beyond their wildest expectations, the six people that ran out of the kitchen were boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 13. Some got up to clap, some had their mouths wide opened, some were really crying and so many other expressions of shock. Why? Because they did not expect that all these kids who were probably the same ages with their children or grand children were behind all the preparations that went into the meals they just had.
My point here is, if they had known that the people they were going to judge were young children, I bet their appraisals on the taste, texture and presentation of the food would have been of a more lenient nature. We all fall into this first impression trap a lot.
The guy that stepped on your shoes and rushed off without saying sorry probably had his mind on making it to the hospital where his child was about to go into surgery and so did not even notice that he stepped on you. Who knows, the young man that you thought you saw hitting another person was probably helping him to fend off some stinging bees.
A lot of misjudgments and misunderstandings in our homes, schools, offices and society in general can be avoided if we only take a second look.