When first impression is not enough to judge a stranger...

 "Do you have open mind with which to spot the opportunity or danger in a society that is constantly covered by dark cloud of deceptive appearance?.... Isqil Najim

On my way from clinic today, I have opted to take a taxi from Abule Egba area to beat the traffic and meet a friend at Agege Local Government secretariat...

There was the usual traffic gridlock and I decided to Abandon the taxi at (former) AGIP filling station and walk to the complex. I gave the driver 1000 Naira note to deduce his 500 Naira as agreed. He gave me my balance and without checking, I collected it and tucked it inside my diary and quickly left the place hurriedly to enable me meet the appointment..

Few minutes later, I reached the secretariat, and to my discomfort, Someone was repeatedly tapping me behind. My first instinct was that a police man is at it again ( I always encountered police men asking to search my bag anytime I have a bag), probably trying to look at my bag as usual..but I was surprised to see the taxi driver, panting. He must have been running and it was obvious.

He pulled out 500 from his breast pocket and and told me he gave me wrong amount. Unbelievable, I opened my diary and found 20 Naira there. "I gave you wrong change," he said, looking at me. "here is your money" he concluded while handling me the 500 and collected the 20 Naira. I was speechless.

I called him back and asked him to take the money, his reply was a polite "no" and before I say "thank you" he was gone.

I ponder upon the incidence considering the distance between the Station and AGLG secretariat.. Apparently, he left his car at the station to beat the traffic and locate me.

My surprise wasn't because I have not seen honest people like this before. But I had misjudged him as a potential criminal due to his look and dressing while I was in his taxi. I felt so guilty that my first impression of him was not only wrong but flawed... But here I am, receiving another another lesson on why appearance do sometimes fail character tests.. 

Yesterday, I overpaid a driver who I presumed to be a honest man because he dressed so well and polished. he picked me up from that same clinic and he was even trying to squeeze more money from me. But today, the one I presumed to be criminal was showing me something about humanity. A lesson I completely forgot to apply... "That one must give every man the benefits of doubt to show their true character. No matter the circumstance."

Oftentimes, due to our negative past experiences, and bad news we read daily, we erect a gate between us and the reality and prevent ourselves from seeing things in their proper perspectives. Some do this with view to protect themselves while some do it because they have lost faith in humanity and their hearts are now hardened. They have lost the capacity to trust their fellow men; to believe and to explore the diversity of human nature and contents.

They think they are smarter, by erecting fortress and living within that comfort zone, only to end up as prisoners to their own conviction. They miss the wide field of wisdom available and ended as victims of their own self limitation. They miss the opportunity to meet the right individuals while their fears continue to drive them toward that which they fear.

There are good people out there. While a lot have been said about first impression, sometimes, the first impression do fail to detect the actual reality of some of the people we meet daily, good or bad.  The question I sometimes have to ask is  "Do you have open mind with which to spot the opportunity or danger in a society that is constantly covered by dark cloud of deceptive appearance?

The words of Shannon  Alder make a lot of sense when he said "The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.” 

....Isqil Najim

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)