Prefect Thought for the Week #1: Georgia Folkard-Smith

In the first of a new segment in Monday morning assemblies, the Head Girl focuses the school’s thoughts for the week.

Good morning everyone.

It’s the beginning of a new year here at RHS and we all have a lot of new faces to get used to, teachers and students alike, so I thought that starting with the following story may help everyone with the difficulty of first impressions. I know it sounds like the start of a bad joke but I promise it has a point.

7 men walk into a pub in Cardiff dressed as priests. The barman has been on alert for fancy dress parties and so asks them to leave, but the men turn out to be real priests who have come to celebrate a colleagues recent ordination into the Church. Apologising for his mistake, the barman treats them to a complimentary round and they all enjoy a wonderful evening.


Personally, I have always recalled the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ whenever I have a negative first impression of someone. However, this story reminded me that judging people is not necessarily a bad thing as a lot of the time we can make reasonable judgements based on our previous experiences. It is not the fault of the barman for assuming that the men were simply dressing up for fun because he has had more previous experience with that than genuine priests in his bar. Nor is it the fault of the priests as they were clearly unaware of the barman’s previous experiences.


The lesson lies in the fact that rather than either party overreacting, they talked it out until they both understood the reality of the situation. The barman did not assume that the men weren’t being honest, nor did the priests get angry or offended and therefore both got to enjoy their evening rather than letting it spiral into an inevitably bitter argument.


I think these possible misunderstandings are something which we will all come across in our lives, if we have not already. We are all guilty of judging someone based only off of our first impressions of them. It may be as simple a situation as assuming that someone is a meat eater when they are actually a vegetarian or as controversial as assuming someone’s sexuality, however most of the time it does not mean that we are automatically horrible people but rather that we are using our previous experiences to assume what we do not know. This is perfectly reasonable. It becomes a problem when we refuse to change those opinions despite explicit evidence proving otherwise or when we take offence to an assumption without making time to calmly correct the person’s mistake.


So if you are going to take anything away from this, just remember that assumptions will happen, but it’s your reaction to the situation which will determine whether or not a first impression will stick.

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