Communication! We have to talk, share and ask questions. And if we don’t feel comfortable in asking questions, then we have to say that and ask anyway, because one does not decide to be prejudiced free on a Sunday morning after church service, it takes exercise and understanding of the unknown.
Talking to a friend about my last post (Defined: preventing chances and losing possibilities), which was an observation of the stereotypical attitude we have grown and we are growing as people, she made some considerations I’d like to share. They are food for thought.
She underlined the perfect non-practical point it was made in the post. To define and to stereotype is not good… but again what can we do about it? What’s next? What happens? What is the deal?
In her view stereotypical attitude is part of the human experience. We are all prejudiced and available to express and embrace prejudice, because is the only loophole we have in approaching the unknown. In essence pre-concepts are our means to deal with the unknown, which many at times is seen as not safe, whether it is someone or something.
We cannot live our experience of life without dealing with stereotypes, without putting in categories things or people; stereotypes are our right hand in moments and situations of uncertainty. In these terms therefore one would like to feel comfortable thinking that stereotypes are not that bad, viewing it as a natural process of the human experience. Wrong! This is not what we are talking about.
We have to deal with many people and situations on a daily basis, so we find in our pre-concepts an assurance of knowledge, but there our knowledge stops. Our knowledge stops where our assumptions prevail, keeping us tight and close.
I find myself to agree with this view and I understand that stereotypical attitude is something we have to deal with as part of our experience, but we do not have to abide by.
One way to approach it, surely not to eliminate it, is to talk about it, to acknowledge it, to be aware of it. When we talk about it we become aware of it, and consequently we become available to want to know the full picture of the situation, of the person etc. When we understand that we are prejudiced, we become available to search for a next level of understanding of things, therefore we free ourselves from remaining in our ignorance.
So what is the deal? How should we approach the stereotypical attitude we have by nature?