The old phrase, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression," is a polite way of saying that we pre-judge people. And to be honest, I'm prejudice.
Now, before you start casting stones, you are too. You may not realize it, but you are. You pre-judge people too.
My prejudice is based on how one dresses, one's vocabulary, body language and how one treats others. I also prejudge people on their hair, teeth, the bicycle they ride, the car they drive and a myriad of aspects of life. My prejudice is not based on ethnicity, nor does it force people into a permanent category or keep me from talking with someone.
At its core, pre-judging people and things helps us categorize the world in which we live. If we didn't categorize things quickly, we'd have trouble making decisions.
It's important to know that you, too, pre-judge people and to please keep the door open for people to change your initial assessment of them by how they act and who they are. Prejudging exists to allow us to sort through the vast amount of information we take in every minute. We can't pay attention to everything so we must select what we choose to pay attention to, who we choose to sit next to and who we choose to strike up a conversation with.
Prejudging is just that, pre. It is before we get to know someone. Yes, I do change my preconceived notion of someone after talking with him/her and I hope you do as well. Further, I hope people have changed their preconceived notion of me as well.
If we are unaware of our inclination to pre-judge someone, we may never give him/her the opportunity to change that perception. We all need an opportunity to present who we are with as little barrier as possible.
I looked it up, an antonym of pre-judgment is truth. So, let's not base our assessment of someone on our flawed and limited first impression – because it may not be true, but instead see them through the eyes of Christ, who shows no partiality.