The saying “First impression, best impression” is not always true. They stick a label on you by their first impression and it’s impossible to get it away. And this happens very often.
“I am from Klaipėda too!” – I said to her searching for a theme in common for conversation and acquaintance.
“OK” – she said trying to stop the yawning.
“But now I live and work in Berlin…” – I continued my biographical details.
“Really!?” – her eyes sparkled because of interest.
Wherever I’ve been, everybody sticks labels to each other by the first impressions. And only open-minded people see others as they are, not what they’re similar to.
Just tell some Lithuanian that you work abroad, and (s)he’ll stick a label on you reading “Traitor of the Motherland”, “Interesting and Experienced Personality”, or “Pretender to Ensure My Material Wealth”. Just tell some German that you are from Lithuania, and you’ll get a stamp on your forehead reading “Primitive”, “Cheap Slut”, or “Parasite in My Working Place”.
“So don’t say you are Lithuanian” – some Slovenian offered me at the meetup of Django users in Berlin – “Represent yourself as a programmer, inline-skater, or a representative of your company, but not as Lithuanian.
“But I am not ashamed of being Lithuanian” – the hopelessly tough voice from my mouth answered.
The glued labels pull a weak person to his brand and take away from the real (actually formed) ego. If the surrounded expect something from me, I must fulfill their waitings and my image. If the others say that I am an egoist, then it must be so. Otherwise, they might think something wrong about me. If people say that I am an artist, I must be an artist and must create arts. If people try to convince me that I am a clown, I must make them laugh further. I’m too weak to rip of the label.
A yawning break.
At some point the label becomes your visit card. Your image becomes yourself. You become the reflection of yourself in the mirror.
My label is my nickname. It’s my label by myself. “Archatas” pulls me to the shining. I write nonsense and imagine myself as very clever and educating person.
Here is a manifest to sum up what I’ve written:
- Don’t evaluate new people by shallow associations.
- Create your image yourself.
- Represent your country by your qualities, not stupidities.