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It is often said, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

There is truth to that. But limiting.

I am learning to give people a chance to prove my “first impression” wrong.

I would love the same grace extended to me.

Many times in my life, on first impression, I’ve been labeled a “snob”. Introvert and uncomfortable can be misread as aloof.

So if I am misread, I’m sure I misread others.

I have grown so fond of someone I met through my dog.

On the surface we look worlds apart and the assumption would be that we have nothing in common. I’m sure many draw quick conclusions about him.

Sad for him. Sadder for them.

Fortunately our encounters through Oakley stimulated more conversation and I learned what a kind, responsible, God-fearing, family-loving man he is. Hearing his story brought deep respect.

Then there is another man who I visit at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Nashville.

He’s a potter.

I buy things, but most often I am there to visit.

On the outside, not one thing in common. Again, worlds apart. But through repeated encounters, I now know a man whom I care for greatly.

His faith challenges mine. And that’s a good thing.

If I stuck with first impressions, I wouldn’t know these good men.

My loss, not theirs.

My life is better when I’m not surrounded by people who look like me. Talk like me. Think like me.

I expand.

If it is true that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, then I want to offer a “first chance to make a second”.

My gain, not theirs.

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