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Have You Ever Been Misled by a First Impression?
Our day began simply enough. Family time at the beach, sitting in our comfy chairs watching the waves, our kids, and the other beach-goers. We relished the time to refresh and rejuvenate.
Reading is a big part of our beach experience. We love to dip into our stacks of books, punctuated by plunges into the refreshing waves, and hunting for shells during walks.
My husband, Jim, was reading a top-rated book about the 101st Airborne and their significant contributions during WWII. These were some of the men who turned the tide of history to peace and freedom back in the 1940’s. What dedication and bravery! We couldn’t imagine parachuting into enemy-held territory, risking our lives to win back the homeland of our allies. Jim kept sharing impressive stories with me. We were both inspired by the selflessness of these Americans who were now aging out of history.
There was one problem with our day. A short distance away, there was a small band of revelers who made it hard for us to concentrate on our reading. They were guzzling cold beer and noisily playing touch football – showing off their heavily muscled and tattooed bodies to the young women in their group. Their music was loud, punctuated by whoops and hollers.
In a word, they were obnoxious. As Jim commented, “These slackers are a far cry from the impressive young men I am reading about from WWII. Clearly, this country is going downhill fast!”
When I returned from a lengthy beach walk, I discovered Jim in the midst of the partiers. He is a gregarious guy, but I could not fathom why he was so happily engaged with the very people who had been the subject of his griping.
Jim ran over to get me, eager to introduce me to his new friends. Yes, you have probably guessed the reason. They were all members of the 101st Airborne, stationed a short drive away! These active-duty soldiers were taking time off just prior to deployment to the Middle East.
These were some the very men we would be holding in our prayers, sending cards of encouragement, and celebrating victories and safe arrivals home. We were humbled by their service – and more than a little willing to overlook their enthusiasm and energy on the beach.
They loved answering our questions about jumping from planes, the weight of their packs, and the difficulties they had overcome during training. We responded with lots of positive feedback.
We have all underestimated others based on our own preconceived notions. If we get to know them, we may find inspiration.
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend