My parents always tried to impress upon me the importance of first impressions. As a child, I did my best to mind my Ps and Qs and adhere to my parent’s instructions. Then I grew into a teen, who like most young adults, I started to believe I knew more than my out of touch with the real world parents.
I often wonder how people perceived me, depending on the outfit I was wearing. I thought I was stylish when I walked into a job interview with my mini skirt and knee high boots. Being stylish didn’t land that office job, but it sure got me hired on as a barmaid at the local tavern. That’s alright too, as that job taught me a lot about life at a very early age.
Humans, no matter how they try, will always have first impressions regarding other humans. It’s just the animals that we are. Our first impressions regarding other humans stem from our life experiences, the media, and things others have told us. Does that make it right, or does that make us racist? No, it makes us the imperfect humans we all are.
If my doorbell rings and I look outside to see a man in a suit standing there that I do not know. My first impression is that he’s well dressed, clean, and looks business like. I will open the door but with caution even though I do not know what he wants.
Put that same man in dirty, unkempt clothes. Have him unshaven, looking like he needs a bath, and my first impression is going to change to where I might just talk through the door or not even answer.
Either man or both men could be honest, hard working men or a person wishing to do something wrong. How do I know or decide?
In this same scenario, what would you do? Should I let them inside my home, talk to them, and then decide if I am safe to let them into my home? Might be a little late for me if they wish to do me harm. Am I a racist for not letting the second man into my home?
This same scenario applies to out country and borders, IMO. Letting people into our country that we do not know anything about, we only have first impressions. The suspension of traveling to the U.S. is no more than that first impression. We are looking out our door and seeing people we do not know. Our first impression is they look like honest people, they look like refugees, they look like the tired and oppressed, but are they? Is our first impression correct?
Maybe, just maybe we should keep the door closed for a bit, until we can decide who is really standing at our front door, waiting to come into our home.
From what I have seen, most of the protesters are college students, which I assume are either living at home with their parents, living on campus, or like most students, struggling to just pay rent in a one bedroom flat. What gives them the right to demand I open the door to someone I do not know? Put your beliefs where your mouth and protest signs are and take in a refugee that is already in this country. Or start supporting a homeless American. Open your door, not mine.