I have read and heard on many occasions that first impressions are vitally important – and usually lasting. One doesn’t get a second chance to make that first impression. Then more recently I read that most people find that their first impression upon meeting someone is usually fairly accurate. There are exceptions, of course. I have met a few people who didn’t impress me on first meeting, but on getting to know the person I’ve had to review and revise that first impression. Most people deserve a second, third and more chance at showing who they really are.
Then there are those people you really have to work at to work out who they truly are. Most people are far more complex creatures than that first impression.
I’ve been attending Tabor College in Adelaide, South Australia, for three weeks now. That’s why the posting have been less frequent recently. I’m doing my Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing. Tabor College was set up some years ago as a theological college. It has since branched out into teacher education and has gained an exceptionally high degree of reputation in the process. More recently it has incorporated humanities, counselling and several other departments along the way. It is close to being accredited full status as the fourth university in our state.
My first impressions of the staff of the college have been very positive. I have found that the lecturers, tutors and office staff are extremely friendly, helpful and will do anything to help students succeed. Many of them have supplied personal email addresses and phone numbers, insisting that we contact them if we are having any difficulties. The pastoral care of the staff is wonderful. They genuinely want to help and see us succeed.
Even more pleasing has been the realisation that those first impressions were accurate. The care has continued. Staff members are frequently asking how we are getting along with our studies and how can they help. It is a genuine concern for our welfare. I like that.
On a broader scale it would be great if we all treated others in the same way – with a genuine interest in their welfare and a caring, loving attitude towards them. It doesn’t take much effort. It doesn’t take much to change the world, one kind, caring act at a time.