Many atimes, it is said that, first impression matters, but not always the true situation of things. Many atimes, we have judged people based on what we see and hear, until we get closer to them and found out they are not really what they are portrayed to be. Many atimes, we have misquoted people out of context because of the stereotyping we have done. But if we take a moment or minute to get closer to them, they might not be that bad as imagined. I am saying this because of a neighbour.
You see (there I go again!..ehehehe) the first month of school resumption, I waited with my daughter for the school bus, until I was assured she was ok. The second day of waiting with her, we saw a classmate of hers, she was walking briskly to and fro on the sidewalk and eventually, walked away. I wondered why she would leave the bus-stop on her street and go to the next? This she did for many weeks, refusing to join the children, but walked with a kind of aggressive-gait to the next street.
One sunny day, as they alighted from the school bus, two girls accosted her and they were arguing. She turned her back to leave and one of the girls hit her from behind. Luckily, one of the mothers living close by, rushed out to stop them before it broke out into a big fight! Meanwhile, some boys were egging on the two girls to beat her while they were with their phones to record them and probably download it in you-tube! We later found out the two girls and several boys were from the street behind but because they have planned to beat up this girl, they got down on her street! Why? Because they say she was a bully of a sort! And I learnt other things about her which made me understood her better.
Her sister walks the same way! She followed her one morning to the bus-stop while I was pushing the buggy on the sidewalk and my daughter sat on the pavement listening to her music. The gait in their walks smelled trouble with a capital T! Picture how a creditor is walking with all determination to collect her money from her debtor, and ready to disgrace her if she don't pay! I jejely walked back to where my daughter sat down, watching to see what was about to go down. They stood behind my daughter who ignored them, with the sister putting her hands akimbo and tapping her foot, you know that kind of 'today-nah-today- stance'?
'Hello', I said, to break the ice. 'Are you twins?' Because they look so much alike, though, I knew they weren't. The elder sister is in high school which is 23 mins walk from our street, and I see her some days going and coming back from school. 'No!' Her elder sister replied and left few minutes later, leaving the sister to wait for the bus with other children. It was then I realized, she had wanted to always be with other children on our street, but due to her precedent and fall out with one of kids, she shied away from them! And the previous day, her brother came looking for her and we pointed where she was! Maybe when she got home in the afternoon, they asked her why? And she might have said, she felt uncomfortable or another response which would have made her elder sister to follow her down that morning! All she could have done was simply stay with us! Especially the day it was drizzling, she walked under the drizzle to the other side, while we took cover under a neighbour's garage. Three kids from the street behind us, walks to our own street everyday, to play with their friends, so I wondered why she felt uncomfortable waiting with them.
The next day, she waited with the children on our street. My daughter shared some candies she had on her to all of them. When they came down from the bus in the afternoon, she said to my daughter; 'I am sorry for being mean to you earlier on, can we be friends?' It was then I realized that all she needed was a show of love, which my daughter did by that her simple gesture of sharing candy! And yes! They are now friends, coming over to play with us, and my daughter doing same! Getting to know her now over a month, I found she is a nice kid, who simply built a wall of defense around her with that attitude and learnt early to be strong outside, but inside, she is just soft. She is now friends with all the kids waiting for the bus and her elder sister now say hello to my eldest daughter whenever they meet in the hallways or cafeteria in the school.They all play together in my home or theirs. 5 days ago when it rained heavily, I followed my daughter with an umbrella, and I saw her running to come and stay under the garage with other kids, all chattering away while the school bus pulled up. I felt happy that all the kids were now so friendly. They all come out to play sometimes on the sidewalks or in front of any house they prefer.
This applies to every facet of our lives. Sometimes, we judge people wrongly until we get closer. In my place of work, a co-worker was so quiet and aloof during my first week of arrival, while another was jovial and chatty. I liked the jovial one but judged the other as a snob and ignored her! Alas! 2 months working there now, I realized the 'snob' is really the nice one while the chatty one is a chameleon! It was her defense mechanism not to get involved in the department ish! Because she is hot-tempered and when angry, she can say unprintable things which she can be queried or sued for! Hence, she ignores everybody and face her job squarely!
I have also been judged wrongly by people, until they get closer to me and say you are not as I thought or heard! Like it is always said, every action gets a reaction! And until you actually get close to someone, you won't know them! Social platforms is a virtual world! So, don't believe or judge a person positively or negatively by what you read or hear.
Thank you for reading my long post and enjoy your remaining week.