I ask your patience as I write this from my somewhat fever addled brain, lol. Summer colds are not a fun business but I shall be through it soon I hope. I felt compelled to repost something I wrote a while back in light of the tragedy which occurred in Orlando. I send my deepest sympathies to friends and loved ones of those that died, and love, healing energies, and prayers to those who were injured in this attack. This kind of act should never have happened, we as humans should have evolved past this kind of blind, and ugly hatred. Sadly, we have not, and so, I am reposting something I wrote several years ago which seems yet again, unfortunately, to be pertinent to what is going on in our world. The article is called 'Getting Past Prejudice, and Getting On With Your Life' . Here it is my feelings about what needs to be worked on, these are only my opinions, but I do feel strongly about them.
'Getting Past Prejudice, and Getting On With Your Life'
[prej-uh-dis] Show IPA
noun, verb, -diced, -dic·ing.
an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge thought, or reason.
any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.
From: Miriam Webster Online:
1prej·u·dice noun \ˈpre-jə-dəs\
Definition of PREJUDICE
: injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights; especially : detriment to one's legal rights or claims
a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
b : an instance of such judgment or opinion
c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics
From: the Urban Dictionary Online:
prejudice 270 up, 19 down
The quality or condition of judging someone or a group of people before you meet them, usually using stereotypes.
"The secret is to say that you're prejudiced against all racists"
- Homer Simpson
Some of you might think it strange that I pulled reference from three different sources to define the word 'prejudice'. There is a reason for that, it is because some groups feel they can not be prejudiced because of their ethnic background. Here is the truth of the matter, anyone can be prejudiced, black , white, brown, red, yellow, purple with pink polka dots, it does not matter. If you walk around thinking that any one group of people is bad, keeping you from succeeding, or has certain traits that you find unappealing, then you too, my friend, nomatteryour racial, or religious background is, are prejudiced.
Now that we have defined what prejudice is, the next issue is how did you become prejudiced. Most prejudice starts when we are very young, and comes from parents, family, and friends. Ideas that certain people are bad because of (insert irrational reasoning here), whether it is induced by fear, a few bad personal experiences due to the prejudice of another group (this is the hardest one to overcome because it feeds itself), a "religious" background which dictates a mandate of hatred rather than tolerance to others (religion itself is not the culprit, rather the interpretation of said religions by of some people within it are the issue), or whatever. Then the whole group is clumped together in an ugly little package, with a not so pretty bow on the top, and you do not want to open the package, because it is easier to let it sit on the shelves of your mind, accepting it as truth rather than taking it out opening it up, and having a good, long look at it.
Here is the challenge I put forth if you are brave enough (and though it may not seem so this takes a lot of courage). Take that box off the shelves in your mind (yes, I know some of us have a lot of dust and cobwebs up there, but sweep them out of the way, lol).......bring that box out into the sunlight, and open it. Look at it through new eyes and exam the contents honestly, and ask you is are these ideas REALLY true? Does it even make any sense? If you are really honest with yourself you will find the answer is a resounding 'NO'.
Barring hive mind syndrome (which does not exist in the human species) it is impossible for one group of people, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, or whatever, to all think, or even behave the same way. So there it is, the truth is that we are each of us, individuals. Like snowflakes in winter no two are the same. There are people in each group who choose good behavior over bad, and sadly, those that choose bad over good. Really in truth it all boils down to us' choosing' or 'challenging' our behaviors or ideas, and unless you have some deep-seated psychological issues that govern your thinking, and behaviors, it really is ultimately our own choices that guide us through life.
The Question now is this: Do you intend to carry on with the same prejudices, perpetuating them creating more negativity, and hardship for our children, and our children's children, or, are you going to have the courage to let go of those preconceived notions and step into the light? Can you learn to follow the instructions God/Goddess left for you to love others as yourself? Are you up to the challenge of making this a better world, or are you another albatross hanging around the neck of mankind bringing us all down? These are questions only you can answer for yourself, I can not tell you right from wrong, you must choose to see, or remain blind. The time of choosing is now, which path will you take?
I bid you all to be well, to love each other, to let go of past wrongs so that we may all move forward in the light. Pax, my friends, may the truth shine like a beacon in your hearts, and may your days be filled with love and joy.
PS You can honestly enjoy your own cultural background, and still appreciate, and respect the cultural backgrounds of others! Diversity is the spice of life!