“If you judge people, you’ll you have no time to love them”, Mother Teresa stated a strong truth into the world while she was here. Her idea of stereotyping is almost identical to Robert Heilbroner’s views on how “Stereotypes are a kind of gossip about the world, a gossip that makes us prejudge people before we ever lay eyes on them”. In our world today we grow up learning to characterize people. We live our lives continuing to judge people based on physical appearances, religious backgrounds and their personalities in contrast to our own. Life’s too short for so much hatred and dislike, which is why stereotyping should be kept aware of and avoided by learning to chary, or to be mindful of “generalizations about people”.
In the world of stereotyping and characterizing I’m just as guility of participating in it then the next person. Not always but sometimes I do look at someone’s appearance and decide if they’re worth having a conversation with, or even saying hi to. I’ll admit that most of the friends I surround myself with are the better-looking, funny, ‘popular’ crowd. I don’t make efforts to just be friends with that type of class of people, but I find it easier to relate with them. I too judge a lot of people, as they walk by me in public places, such as malls, school, the park and everywhere I go. I know for a fact that I missed out on being a part of so many amazing lives because I never gave them the chance of becoming a part of mine, as well as I’m sure so many people have done to me. The worst part about characterizing is you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. You never even give yourself a second to think, “Hey this person could really be someone I may like”, you’re to busy picking out why you may not like them.
“Stereotypes are one way in which we ‘define’ the world in order to see it. They classify the infinite variety of human beings into a convenient handful of ‘types’ towards whom we learn to act in stereotyped fashion”, Heilbroner. It is a problem that we see things how we want to see them, we expect things how we “think” they should happen.
Stereotyping causes problems in every area of our world, in work, at school, within families. People may not get the dream job they’ve always wanted, or into the school that they grew up yearning to attend just because of their appearance, background or even the minor details like what they were named or their pants which weren’t a part of the popular brand names. Not to say that everyone judges to that extent, but it is true that when you’re in an interview your first appearance, which is physical does exert some judgment. Not many ever think how he or she’d feel in that person’s shoes in that situation. This is why more people should be taught from birth stereotype awareness.
It is important to think before you speak, take actions or conclude someone into a certain category. Become aware that every person you cross paths with, is in fact an individual, a body of life with feelings and opinions and style. That they too have questions, comments, concerns, problems. Because if you do hold that advice for every person that you could ever have the chance of knowing, it will make knowing them even more powerful for yourself as well as for them. Love everyone unless they give you reason not to.