First Impressions

“Don’t be over self-confident with your first impressions of people…” ~ Chinese Proverb

I could sense her fears and anxiety. Kept in secrecy at the deepest chamber in her heart. Doubts popping randomly all through out the night, as she tried to learn a new trade in this chosen profession of Nursing. 

Leaving a different area she thought she loved at first from the hospital, she came to try Correctional Nursing. But just like anywhere else in any workplace, blending in wouldn’t be easy. 

It wasn’t because the job was any harder. Nor the tasks would be impossible to be learned. The problem was…the people. People who had been working there for a long time who forgot they were once a newcomer like new nurses. People who got along so well and unfortunately, subtly, mini-groups had been formed where the same interests and habits merged. Groups that felt threatened when another person or co-worker would come along with a different idea, a different lifestyle, a different belief or might have a different points of view with life, meant it was time to put up barriers and an unseen “You’re not welcome” mat from their words and actions.
“I never had a problem with her,” I firmly stated to a Charge Nurse the other night.

She didn’t say anything. I sensed many, perhaps, had more negative things than to see the positive from this new nurse. But I needed to say something after working with this new nurse for a few nights. I never took sides. All I wanted was for them to bring down those barriers and give her a “chance”. 




I knew after being here in the prison for many years, there would always be those great and “not so great” nurses. But the number one problem was never about performing tasks or learning prison things. The number one problem was that people always judged and always go by what they heard and going with others’ FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

I could be a part of that group… But after going through my own trials of getting hurt from the hospital and transferring to work as a Correctional Nurse, as a believer of God, I started seeing His works behind mysterious ways. That I never needed to rely on anyone else but only Him. Despite such unpleasant grapevines and knowing what a “little tongue” could do to burn others, I knew I didn’t need to be a part of such hurtful acts.

I always want to remind myself wherever I am that it is only by His grace and love that I am able to change my heart and wisely choose Who to follow. Who to listen to. Who to seek for life’s advices. I always want to remind myself that His first impression of my old nature never blames, never shames, never rejects and never hates. And even as a new creature, His faithful loves continues to mold and shape me to what He wants me to be... All the cutting, all the pruning, He always does with love and grace...

“Don’t worry about what you hear nor from what you see,” I gave my only advice to that new nurse.

I didn’t need to hear her “Thank you.” She doesn’t owe me anything. I know she just needed that chance of showing what she has and can deliver. To turn their “bad first impression on her” to good. Without conforming to their ways but by simply being herself. A good nurse who’s willing to learn the trade and be able to use her skills to help out others just like how those nurses and myself do it.

I know she needs to find her place… Because I believe God is strategically placing each of His children in every dark place in this world. To reflect His light… To make a difference…

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – John 7:24 (ESV)
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