How would you define prejudice? For me it is that notion of knowing what’s behind the looks of someone you meet for the very first time. It’s letting your previous experiences, your knowledge, background and intuition to determine what you indeed couldn’t possibly know. The most important of all: it is an involuntary response.
Usually, prejudice is considered a bad thing since we shouldn’t get carried away by preconceptions. Don’t get me wrong, I agree. Not being able to control the arise of prejudices is one thing, but allowing them to dictate the way you conduct amongst others is to limit yourself.
But I’m not here to write about the obvious
My family has a small business. I was helping the other day at the cash register when an old lady came in carrying what seemed to be her grandchild. Her clothes were shabby. She walked around for a while and asked for some information. I gave it to her, of course, but I must confess I addressed her out of mere politeness since I didn’t think she would actually buy a thing. After a while, she left the place. I knew it. Ten minutes later, lady comes back and makes the biggest purchase of the day.
Another time, I met this pretty-eyes guy. We were about to travel to another state together (plus a couple of friends) and we didn’t even knew each other. He was nice and outgoing, but kind of goofy and nerdy. In my mind, he was a wanna be intellectual, a fraud. Can’t describe it quite well, but something in his manners, in his smart-sounding fillers and his philosophical points of view… he was trying too hard.
On our ride bus back, we ended up sitting next to each other and suddenly the magic began. Not in a romantic-love kind of way, I’m talking about the fulfilling pleasure of a great conversation. Somehow we began sharing thoughts on travel. His intellectual airs didn’t surprise me anymore, most people feel kings of the world after strolling a bit round the globe -it happened to me too-. But, my mind was taken aback when he started his story of the time he half-crossed Mexico and Central America on a bicycle. He really knew interesting things when most of the time we are surrounded by snobs. Anyways, that conversation was definitely worth my sleep (we talked from 12 am til we fell asleep at about 3 am).
What I’m trying to say is that without my prejudice, neither of both events could have awed me so. I love people and experiences that destroy my prejudices, it’s my favorite kind of surprises. That’s the same reason why I try to destroy other people’s preconceptions too. It’s a learning process, and I hope someday it will become a learning cycle. I dream of the day that we all live such rich experiences and epiphanies that sharing meaningful conversations becomes the norm and not just a stroke of good luck.
Thanks for reading. Wish you all a weekend of prejudice destruction 😉
Peace, love, fire,
Angie Troog 🔥
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