About once a week I enjoy the buffet at the KFC close to my old neighborhood where I grew up and first started working. I have enough time between jobs to sit for a while and watch the people come and go, and it's early enough that the older people are having their evening meal. There are several senior citizen's apartments in the area, so this is a hot spot for them to eat.
This particular KFC has a 50's diner theme, with photographs of old drive ins and even has a juke box where you can select music from the 50's and 60's for free.
While I was sitting there eating, a family came to sit in the next booth. There were three children, the boy and girl looked like they could be twins, and there was a little girl in a high chair, maybe two years old. The mother was pregnant with another. The father was completely covered with tatoos, and had a punkish hair style, and clothes. If I had seen him without the family, I might have even been a bit concerned to be alone. That was my first thought.
I watched him get all of the children settled, as his wife filled the drinks. There was so much food ordered, they put it on another table in the booth behind them. He prepared all of the children's plates, and helped them get started. He didn't fix anything for himself. He waited until his wife came back so she could get her food first.
This man truly loved his children, and had so much respect for his wife. As I got up and put my tray away, our eyes met, and he just beamed, and nodded a hello.
We all have ideas on how we think people are when we first look at them. Our opinions are formed within minutes. I wonder how many times this man might have been misunderstood, and folks that first see him might have formed an opinion that probably wouldn't have been very favorable. Even mine wasn't the greatest until I watched them for a few minutes.
I wonder how many other times my first impressions of people might have been not so accurate.