Helena – “We share a name and that name defines us whether we want it to or not. You’ve already made judgments about me just like I’ve already made judgments about you.”
This is really true…we make judgement calls about people before we even know their names. We assess what they are wearing (finances), how they stand (posture/health), how they speak (education). This can be a problem but in some ways initial judgement is a really good thing. It allows us to make quick calls about who is safe and who is not. We have cultural ques so deep in us that we don’t realize we have the skill to just look down the street quickly and answer questions such as, “who could I talk to in an emergency,” “who would I approach if I was in trouble?” “who is probably some that is not safe and I should stay clear of them?” “who could I borrow a phone from if I had to make an emergency call?” “who could help me understand where I am if I were lost?” “Who is foreign to this area?” The ability to answer questions like these without even asking them is something that we are not taught…we just know by looking at people. In another culture we can’t do this…we don’t have the same cues/clues. I think that is part of what makes living/being in another country so hard. Initial judgement may be wrong but they are often helpful too…and as long as we are open to changing our opinion about someone (whether that be from “bad person” to “good person” or vise versa) then I think the initial judgements are there to help us.