"Read my lips. No new taxes." The well groomed candidate shouted to his audience. The crowd erupted in cheers and for many Americans, this was their first long lasting impression of soon to be, President George Bush. He later went on to sign a bill implementing the second largest tax hike in history. The statement that won him one election lost him the next. The American public made a long term judgment based on the first impression of this presidential candidate. After the speech, the media took over, promoting Bush, and giving those who did not hear the speech an impression of the candidate. As Americans found out, trusting a first judgment is a dangerous practice, for it does not allow for a clear long term judgment of the person in question. The first impression is influenced by many factors, mainly the physical appearance, one's own past experiences and other peoples judgments. Indeed, first impressions are dangerous, but they are also inevitable, for it is a natural instinct that every person is born with.
Take the classic cliché "You cannot judge a book by its cover." Not everything is what it seems to be. A young man who was on a quest to find himself decided to do a trek across the United States. When he reached the state of Arizona, he met up with a man in ragged clothes, messy hair and in need of a bath. Still, the young man started up a conversation and found this hobo to be very intellectual and pleasant man despite his appearance. As night approached each went and sought shelter for the night, but before they departed the hobo said "You think I'm a bum, am I right?" Being truthful the young man replied "Yes."
"I am really a millionaire," the hobo confessed, "I dress and live this way because I want to be taken for who I am and not my money." The hobo is a prime example of how appearances can be deceiving.
While appearance is part of a first impression, so is a person's past. Experiences form the past...