I’m not that into the idea that “first impressions last a lifetime.” For me, I believe we should always be neutral and kind when we approach someone for the first time. From there your interactions with a person can increase and after about a year of knowing someone you can really tell who they are and how they’ll act in certain situations.
One of the things I’ve learned a lot while working in libraries over the past 10 years is how important it is to approach an event/situation/interaction with a positive attitude, kindness, and an openness to hear all sides of the story. When you do that, your chance at success greatly increases and all sides will have a pleasant experience.
I’ve found this website to be most helpful when it comes to kindness: Random Acts of Kindness. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed or in need of some guidance I turn to this page, give it a quick read, and let the ideas fill up my soul.
As we work with our community in both our day to day interactions and our long term projects, it is important to remember how we approach all of our situations. Fill them with positivity and kindness even in trying situations. Be patient with the other side of the story.