Prejudice: n. . a. A preconceived opinion. B. Bias or partiality.So in a sense we are all prejudice, "salsa is hot, dogs bite, Costa Rica is dangerous." But what builds this prejudice? A learned behavior or reaction to a previous experience, from our parents, grand parents, media, other people's experiences and so on. There is a fine line between learning and evolving and allowing a thought of fear that we ourselves created or was created for us by someone else keeping us immobilized.
To learn from our predecessors past experiences is a piece of what makes the human consciousness so amazing. Human persecution has been since our beginning and will continue until we decide to stop. Is remembering what happened during times of human persecution helping us or hurting us? For those select groups of people who pushed for new laws, rights and liberties against such treatments amazing strides have been made but for others letting go of such negative emotions fuels todays prejudice. The past is the past, the experiences they went through are gone, the time and conditions are not the same today. We are now. Our world is a very different place.
I have seen such prejudice here between black and white people who are still angry about the 1908 race riots. 1908!!! I wasn't here in 1908 (neither were 98% of the population that now live here) nor do we have any reason to "pre-judge" ANYONE on the color of their skin. These laws, rights and liberties were not installed to "screw" anyone but to evolve a behavior. I asked one business owner who was obviously upset by having to conform to the laws regulating how she runs her business, "How would you feel getting paid less money or not getting a job at all just because of the color of your skin? Or how about being told you can't come in the front door or being herded to sit with "your people" like a cow? That is inappropriate human treatment, we are not cattle." If I go tanning, pierce my lip, wear a blue bandanna, carry a Gucci handbag or dye my hair blonde I am subjected to "prejudice", race is only ONE aspect to the never ending pool of prejudice.
What is your first thought when you see an overweight person, a blonde woman, a man with baggy jeans, green hair, a man in a business suit driving a nice car, tattoos or a lawyer? Ask yourself where these thoughts or "pre-judgments" came from. Every person we encounter should have an equal chance to be who they are, not how they look. You may think green haired or tattooed people are "rebels" or insecure looking for attention, maybe they just like art and green.
I have often found myself asking "How can I stop persecution from happening, save a rain forest, stop prejudice?" Our lives are so busy where do you find time? For those who stand in the streets with signs, that's wonderful. For the rest of us just changing our actions speak loudly. Sometimes the most powerful thing one can do is to do nothing.
Daily tips that make a difference:
1. If we don't like bad food, don't buy it.
2. Smile at everyone you make eye contact with even if they look nothing like you.
3. If you pre-judge anyone, smile and remember to move back into that higher place of thinking.
4. Remember, we are all here together and together is how we move as an ocean.