Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

What colour is your prejudice?

10 Comments

I am waiting for the C-train to arrive when a woman and a young child walk past me. She is pulling on the child’s arm, trying to hurry him up. He is running/hopping to keep up while also looking up at a bird sitting on the lamppost above. “Why didn’t he fly south, mommy?” I hear him ask.

I smile and watch them walking and my mind leaps into judgement without a second thought. “How nice to see an aboriginal mother and her child looking so normal,” I catch myself thinking prejudicially.

It is there, just beneath my skin, those thoughts that keep me mired in us and them thinking. That separate me from you because the colour of your skin, your heritage, your belief, is different than mine, or what I have been conditioned to think of as ‘the norm’.

I feel it when a woman in a burka floats down the street. I admire the grace of her garb but thoughtlessly judge the choices she makes to cover herself up in public.

I catch it when I see a police officer trying to pull an obviously inebriated and homeless man into a sitting position from where he lies on the sidewalk. Can he not be more gentle? More compassionate?

It is there as I judge passers-by for giving the man on the ground scathing looks of disgust.

It is present as I ride the C-train and another passenger is talking loudly on their cellphone. Where are their manners?

It is everywhere.

Judgement. Discrimination. Prejudice. Fear.

You are different than me. You behave other than how I do. You worship at a different pew. You talk in another tongue. You were born in a foreign -to me- land. You see the world through different eyes.

Why can’t you be more like me?

The better question is, Why am I always judging? Because it’s always there, my judging. Measuring. Gauging. Your words and looks and actions against mine.

Is it that I fear you will take from me what I hold dear? My position of self-righteousness? My place of privilege for having been here first? My belief that you would rather be like me than you?

Is it that I do not want to let go of what I have for fear you will have more than me? That you will be better than me?

Is it a habit?

Why don’t I just stop judging so you can be you and I can be me?

In that place of neither of us judging one another, we can meet somewhere in the middle, on the common ground of our shared humanity knowing, it is our judgements that are keeping us apart, not our differences.

I caught myself in judgement.

To create the world I want to live in, I must stop my judgements from creating a world of us and them to see the light in each of us shining as brightly as it can, where ever we are at. And in our lights shining, we connect on the common ground of our humanity knowing, we are one human race, one planet, one world.

What about you?

 

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

10 thoughts on “What colour is your prejudice?

  1. I am having such a terrible time with my brother-in-law. It’s ridiculous as I successfully kicked him off this property when Ants started to get so sick. John would not help, or pay the rent or anything except come over day after day to call me a fucking bitch. Sorry, Louise, just wish he didn’t live across the road. In crying mode now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It stands to reason Julie that you want nothing to do with him — it is best to give bullies wide berth. You cannot stop the bully from being who he/she is. You can stop their bullying in your life — which you have courageously done. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Elgie,

    Few among us can be ‘blind’ to differences in ‘Mother Teresa’ mode; perhaps it goes back to our survival instincts in the Great Rift Valley, of seeing everything/everyone as potential ‘food, friend, foe or threat’. Our views are both experiential, cultural and to some degree, inherited. Our instinct to love and be loved, be kind and gracious, be helping and helpful is tempered by our intelligence as well as our prejudice. Imagine if your encounters were not on the street or on the train – but in traffic, they are in the next lane in a luxury car. Or an old-beater? Perversely the woman in the burka would be most at home in societies where women can ride in luxury cars but aren’t allowed to drive them …

    We are not all caught in prejudice, but we are all seeing every picture through the frame of our experience.

    We see best when we see past that. We see each other through our experience with each other. For instance, I see you as someone I know – by the experiences I’ve had with you. I don’t ‘see you’ as I see any other woman I’ve known, but I can’t see you without that knowledge either. And so, we measure everyone’s differences against everyone else’s differences. Sometimes that’s prejudice, but for most of us I think it is ‘consciously noticing’ and giving it a voice. As you have.

    I suspect your feeling better … it shows in your writing.

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mark for your thoughtful and thought-provoking response. I ‘see’ what you are saying and agree. I do like to ask myself the questions though! 🙂

      As to my neck — it’s still a pain, I’m learning to accept it and move through healing it with grace.

      Hugs

      Like

  3. I remember coming to live in the United States. I thought that everything British was the best and everything Amercan was not as good. What a wake up when someone pointed out how judgmental I was being. I really had no insight into other people’s beliefs or actions that were different from my own. That was the beginning of my journey to accept differences and see things from others’ perspectives. That was in 1991.
    Still working on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I try not to judge but I do it creeps in when I am not looking, I do not like it, but it happens all I can do is to continue to try

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been working on that one for years and it looks like I’ll be another lifetime or two down the road before I quit judging. I do note that I’m doing it sooner and sooner and turn my thoughts another way…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I regard myself as a tolerant person except that I am intolerant of intolerant people which also makes me intolerant.

    Like

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