This was totally unplanned, but I want to do a brief extension to yesterday’s Post.
I am saddened, and frustrated, when I hear “That’s just the way I am” in response to a suggestion that a change of perspective might be a good thing. It is usually stated in such a manner that suggests their character traits are rigidly established at birth and cannot therefore be changed, or they simply do not want to change.
My first experience of a cultural bias in Canada was anti-English (for those of you who do not know, I was born and raised in England and emigrated to Canada when in my late 20’s). I was told “You can always tell an Englishman, because you can’t tell him anything.” I understood that to mean all Englishmen were arrogant!
Most people I know, while they may not be openly prejudiced against a particular race, culture, color or other delineating feature of members of our society, invariably do have biases/preferences.
Are all Englishmen really arrogant? Are all people living on the street deadbeats? Are all teenagers trouble? Are all subsidized housing/low rental areas occupied by drug addicts and petty criminals? Are all the young men and women in the sex trade business, in it by choice? Are all hair stylists gay? Are all politicians corrupt?
The list of negative (and inaccurate) stereotyping can go on, and on, and on, can’t it!
If we can accept that our perspectives on the world are constantly evolving, then we can in fact initiate change. Treat Englishmen with an open mind and while you may well confirm the stereotype, you are more likely to realize that they are just like you!
Talk to some people who live on the street, and listen to the circumstances that put them there. You may well find that they are not unlike yourself, or somebody you know really well, but just experienced more trauma in their life.
Instead of making the assumption that stereotypes are all inclusive, try challenging them. I suspect that you will be surprised at the outcome. If you choose to then adapt to your new reality, your world will undoubtedly be a much happier and more rewarding place to live, and isn’t that what we would all want?