It continually amazes me that, despite our numerous (and serious) flaws, we are still the dominant species on this planet!
A friend recently commented that she did not like the band Queen. Being a lover of Queen, I was rather surprised. Of course I recognize that not everybody is going to share my taste in everything, including music, but Queen? They had such a broad repertoire.
I sent her one of my favourite Queen tracks (“Teo Torriatte”), and she was rather surprised that it was Queen. (“Have to say you shocked me with that song. I really liked it.”). This was followed by “Love of My Life” and “Is this The World We Created”. The latter received the comment “Oh gosh! Is this really Queen?”
Clearly I could have sent some rather different tracks, but my intent was to convince myself that she really did not like Queen. Some of you may remember that I did a Post, sometime ago now, which was based around my hearing some lovely guitar work, as a song introduction, coming from a passing pickup truck. A brief shouted dialogue with the driver determined that it was the introduction to Metallica’s “Fade to Black”. I loved it … but I have never liked Metallica!
That same scenario can (unfortunately) be applied to so many other circumstances. My first experience with racism here in Canada was anti-English. I was told “You can always tell an Englishman, because you can’t tell him anything!” As offensive as I found that comment (being English myself), I would suggest that we all do it. “Do it” being forming opinions based on minimal information. I would suggest that the anti-English comment was based on an experience with one arrogant Englishman.
That same scenario can be applied to all races, all colours etc. etc. There are some excellent French chefs, but are all French people excellent chefs? Of course not. In one of my volunteer positions in the 1980s, I worked alongside a doctor from Pakistan and we got to know each other quite well. I learned that he had a good sense of humour and was an excellent and compassionate doctor. Are all people from Pakistan just like that doctor? Of course not!
My point is hopefully pretty obvious. We should never base opinions on people, or music, from a limited experience of same. Not only is it totally illogical, but it is grossly unfair when applied to people … and you can even miss out on so much good music!
Perhaps the next time we meet an odd character, we can tell ourselves that the person was not representative of their culture, and keep an open mind. Next time may be so rewarding.
Perhaps the next time we meet a professional in (e.g.) the health profession, who leaves us wondering whether they know what they are doing, we should keep an open mind. Our next encounter with a health professional may just save our life.
Perhaps the next time we meet a teenager who grunts and rolls their eyes as a communication technique, we should keep an open mind. The next teenager we meet could just be the most courteous person we meet all day.
Finally, the next time you hear something that is apparently music, but totally alien to your personal preferences, keep an open mind. You just heard one song! Perhaps you will like some of their other songs?