When we were in Prague this summer we set off to visit the National Museum. Now this was quite the expedition as we were touring the city on foot and trying to follow the map, which with all its “foreign” sounding street names was challenging.

But we persevered and after 90 minutes, saw the Museum sitting majestically looking down on the street. It was an impressive building; with stairs either side of the entrance and we were proud of ourselves for finding it.

We entered, bought our seniors tickets and were in awe at the painted ceilings and the statues that graced the hallways. The first exhibit showcased all that the Czechs had done during the war fighting for the allies. They were very proud of their contribution and their heroes.

On the second floor, was an exhibit that caught us by surprise – it was a dirty, great big whale carcass. Hmm.   Impressive in its size but it seemed incongruent to the location.   And that was it. Whatever, we thought.

It wasn’t until we reached home that we discovered – it wasn’t the National Museum – that was the modern, glass building next door!

A funny story, and one I still giggle over. But there’s a message there too. We were taken in by appearances. From the outside looking in, the building we entered was fitting to be a museum. But it wasn’t.

And all glitz and glamour we can get taken in and deceived by people too, who appear to be what they are not. I am sure we can all think of people we have met, even befriended, who are not at all who we first thought they were. Whether intentional or not, we’ve been misled and sometimes end up disappointed in what we later learn about them and how it all turns out.

Or we have totally misjudged them and made quick assumptions that are inaccurate as we get to know the person more.

So how do you avoid this? Well in our case, asking a few questions might have helped – like “Is this the National Museum?”   The other point to make was it wasn’t all a waste of time. We did get to see inside a beautiful building and admired the artwork and the view of the city.

As for relationships, I try to remember past occasions when I’ve been burned, and now my antennae are up. I am learning to trust my gut and not always be taken in by my first impressions or to make quick judgements on people. But just like the museum, there are some benefits as likely there were some good times before it all went sour.

Like any situation in life, be it making a mistake about a building or a person, we can learn, value the lessons, and hopefully know better next time.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.