Ã¢â¬ÅNo matter how horrid a person may appear on the surface, if you dig deeper, you will find some nice, unexpected little quality.Ã¢â¬Â —Brooke Astor
One of the biggest causes of conflict in this world is the snap judgments we make about people based on ridiculously limited information.
As we go through life, it is only natural to lump people into categories instead of treating them as the unique individuals they really are. And, when left unchecked, that mental lumping together creates a fertile ground for prejudice to blossom.
It is especially easy when someone rubs us the wrong way. The next time we see people who seem to fit into a category as the one who ruffled our feathers, we are much more likely to ride in with shields up and guns blazing. But all that does is further their stereotype of people like you.
Snap judgments only add fuel to the fire which can have a tendency to flare up from time to time.
I can be guilty of it myself. Interestingly my one big prejudice that I’ve had to work to overcome doesn’t have anything to do with skin color, nationality, religious alignment, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, economic status, or any of the other major categories that we tend to lump people in.
As a result, for many years I deluded myself into thinking that I wasn’t prejudiced at all. But my prejudice was more subtle and as a result much, much more insidious. [Read more…]