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I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The 21st in the list is a letter to ‘Someone you judged by their first impression’

 

Dear Someone I Judged By Their First Impression,

I plead guilty. I judged you at the very first sight, favorably, and though I never told you to your face, I welcomed you into my heart.

Our wavelengths did not match, and I knew instinctively that my ideas would be too ‘modern’ for you. So when you talked of things with which I disagreed, I merely kept quiet not wanting to offend you. Yes, I valued our relationship enough not to want to offend you.

I took great care to never challenge your beliefs as I knew you were actually someone good at heart, never willfully harmed anyone, and were always willing to go out of your way to help. That I felt was good enough for me to keep the differences between us in other things in cold storage. Besides I have never believed in trying to change others through the use of words. My firm belief has always been in being the example of whatever I believed in. If people were convinced by that, well and good, if not, well that was fine by me too.

Yet there were occasions when I got carried away and spoke of something or other that I felt strongly about, not realizing that you held opposite views. This was never meant to be a tirade against you. In fact they happened only because I was ignorant about your stand on the matter or else I would surely have held my counsel. Most times I assumed you were on my side, that is, you held similar views.

So it surprised me greatly when you countered or defended citing some example from your life. When that happened, I have been momentarily disoriented, especially since you or your example was not the one I had been expounding on. At such times I was forced into silence because of my confusion and at other times my replies to you have sounded uncharacteristically defensive, even to my own ears. I wonder how they did to yours.

That is what happens with mismatched wavelengths. The two of us were looking in totally different directions. For you it was a narrow, subjective one, of your world, examples drawn from your life and those of your near and dear ones. For me it was the bigger picture and an objective outlook of the world and its people as a whole. Mine would only be one example out of the many out there. I was not willing to hold that up to prove a point.

Then there was the difference in the way we used the English language. Though you yourself could be called well-read, many of my usages were a closed book to you. One day one of my common usages tripped you. Though there never had been a history of my ever having teased you or put you down in any way, any time in the long years we have known each other, you felt I was making fun of you, that I was picking on you. You didn’t check with me as would be normal between two people who have known each other as long as we have. Instead you chose to believe ill of me.

Yes, I judged you to be a sensible and wonderful person from that first meeting of ours. I was let down badly, very badly.

Yours,

Someone who had to rewrite her first impression of you.

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©Shail Mohan 2014

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