Tuesday, July 26, 2005

All generalizations are dangerous

How many times have we taken one look at a person and formed some kind of opinion based on our generalized preconceived notions? Most people I know, including yours truly, are guilty of being judgemental by assuming certain characteristics based on appearance and first impressions. Just to give you an example, we recently moved into a new neighborhood and started to meet our neighbors and even before I actually talked to any of them, I had started forming opinions based on what I thought about each one of them. The man across the street with a strong Southern drawl had to be a white Republican who had racist tendencies; and his wife who was a stay at home Mom with 3 kids could not work because the guy was also a male chauvinist who did not believe in his wife going out to work. It turned out that Mr and Mrs B who live across the street from us are one of the nicest couples on the street and have gone out of their way to welcome us into the neighborhood and feel comfortable. Makes me one of those jerks who jump to conclusions about people before even giving them a chance to prove you otherwise. I have heard so very often people saying racially offensive things that it makes me cringe. People need to get out of stereotyping things and people. No that Mexican laborer down the road is not necessarily an "illegal immigrant", that young colored guy wearing a bandana and rapping is not a "criminal" and that person of middle-eastern/ Arab origin is not always a "terrorist". But we still do it, and we do it everytime we see a person. We have preconceived notions of people from another country, we even have preformed opinions about the people from different parts of India. No wonder we still have jokes about Sardars, Biharis, Marwaris and yes, even Bongs. Isn't it time we started to think with a little lateral perspective and gave people a chance to prove us wrong?
After all, all generalizations are dangerous, even this one.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Sagnik Nandy said...

lovelly post with a brilliant last line :)

3:53 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

Thank you. But can't claim credit for the last line. It's a quote I adore by Alexandre Dumas.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

i agree. and you might want to read this, if you're not doing much:
http://acceptpleaseaccept.blogspot.com
/2005/07/musings.html
and
http://acceptpleaseaccept.blogspot.com
/2005/07/death-of-nation.html
i wrote one in a moment of frustrated fury...let me know what you think of them, if you do manage to read them.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Grafxgurl said...

Hey! :D thanks for dropping by my place!! i see youre new to the blogging world? WELCOMEEEE!!!

yes it hard not to look at a person and immediately put them in a slot....

i am in SO many slots.. i dont know where I belong!! * looks confused*

12:56 AM  
Blogger krishna canchi said...

heard of ppl boasting abt their ability to "judge a person just by spending an hour with him"?? i've always been skeptical abt such claims. Nevertheless, i dont disagree totally, either. its a fast world and we have so many things to do parallelly. dont u think one must be judgemental to an extent?(that "extent" is again vague..i agree!)
and.."poornima shashank" ur name sounds great! but i dont see it in ur profile!!??

5:42 AM  
Blogger krishna canchi said...

hey..."M"!!
sorry...i mistook u for "poorna shashank":)
nyways, hope to keep visiting this "M" too..

6:41 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@rimi thanks and I did read the posts you mentioned. Very well written. Loved it.

@grafxgurl thanks for the welcome and I guess the biggest challenge is finding one's ownself. Thanks for stopping by.

@krishna canchi thanks for dropping by. You are always welcome.
There are a lot of "m"'s around :))

7:59 AM  
Blogger Rimi said...

hi, krishna's post made me curious-- maybe you post an intro to yourself? that'd be nice...
keep visiting!

1:14 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

I can't seem to find the right words to describe myself :))
Will work on it for sure.
Thanks rimi.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Brewtus said...

Liked the post. I agree - all generalizations are wrong.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:19 PM  

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