Prejudice

PCFL607 618Unfavorable opinions, attitudes and thoughts without knowledge or understanding

Prejudice is the child of ignorance. William Hazlitt

Much of our ignorance is of ourselves. Our eyes are full of dust. Prejudice blinds us.  Abraham Coles

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experience. No one can eliminate prejudices–just recognize them. Edward R. Murrow

 If we have uninformed beliefs or opinions we are often coming from a position of prejudice. It sounds rather idiotic we would purposely choose to be this way. Societies and cultures have suffered from prejudices throughout their histories. The cure for prejudice is to be informed, educated, and open minded to the truth.

It is unintelligent to knowingly form a conclusion from a position of true ignorance. We should be especially open-minded about things of which we have very little knowledge or exposure. In our increasing informed society the subject of prejudice and discrimination is constantly in the news. More than ever the forces of the informed are able to exert influence on those who are ill-informed. Often in today’s world, the minority triumphs over the majority in making societal changes. The civil rights movement is a very good example of overcoming well-entrenched and powerful racial prejudices. It started with a few dedicated individuals who dedicated their lives to confronting prejudice. Through the years the forces of society have shifted away from status quo acceptance of racial prejudice to increasingly become intolerant of it. We are much the better for it.

We have a natural tendency toward doubting or even condemning that which we do not understand. The root of this is due to our fear of the unknown. We fear the unknown because we believe that it poses threats to us. The unknown encompasses all that which is not inside the domains of our comfort zone of experience and understanding. In addition to our natural fears of death, public speaking, new experiences, and so forth; we fear those belonging to different cultures, religions, beliefs or traditions. Generally prejudices are very tough to overcome because they were passed on to us by our parents. Societal and cultural prejudices have been handed down for generations. These conditions exists throughout the world. As our world gets smaller and smaller; more open; and global in nature; it will get increasingly tougher for us to hold onto unfounded prejudices.

Overcoming prejudice requires avoiding conclusions about something or someone until we are informed. It means avoiding pre-conceived opinions and biases. Prejudice is a serious handicap. It limits and imprisons us. Examining the facts will lead us to conclude that we are often limited in our thinking. If we had never overcome any prejudices, we would still be living very lonely lives inside our caves.

Challenge: What prejudices have you had in your life? It would be the exceptional person who never has any prejudice. Do an honest self-assessment. Ask your friends and loved ones for feedback.  It takes maturity and honesty to admit to a prejudice. Can your identify one? Vow to look at the issues with an open-mind. Really examine your beliefs. Form your conclusions based on intelligent, unbiased and informed evaluations.

Wisdom: We are each burdened with prejudice; against the poor or the rich, the smart or the slow, the gaunt or the obese.  It is natural to develop prejudices.  It is noble to rise above them.  Author Unknown

Spiritual: (NIV):

I can do all things though Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1; 7

We should be extremely grateful that God is not prejudiced against all of our ugly shortcomings, faults, warts, and blemishes. When viewed against God’s holiness, we are very ugly and pitiful. Despite this, God loves us. He loved us so much He sacrificed himself for us. Love is the antithesis of prejudice. He wants only the best for us. God’s love is great and perfect. It has no prejudices. Thank God. Where would we be otherwise?

Prayer:  Help me to avoid prejudices in my life. Help me to be able to learn to love with your love.

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