My sister-in-law just sent this joke/story to me, and it made me to stop to think about an ongoing conversation both on this blog and in the Jewish blogosphere at large about people’s perceptions of us based on how we look.
This is another key thing to add to that conversation!
(And yes, it happens to be a funny joke too, leave it to me to make something funny into something serious.)
The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing,
stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by
accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in
frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection,
dropping her cell phone and makeup.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked
up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to
exit her car with her hands up.
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted,
photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the
door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer
was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, ”I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind
your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you
and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’
bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow
Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian
fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally….I assumed you had stolen the car.”
While this is a joke, and obviously intended to be humorous, it makes a really great point. Everything that we do, say, gesture, and even that which we do not say – represents us. Whether or not we are conscious of our actions, or thinking of how we represent what others see us as is irrelevant.
First impressions count, and what do you want someone’s first impression of you (and what you seem to represent) to be?