Osmosis Or On Purpose? - Grasshopper
It seems to me that most people I've met are prejudiced . . . to one degree or another. The question is: How did they get that way?
It comes down to the other thing we all do: Believe.
Do you have the same religion as your parents? If so, ask yourself, "Did I have any say in that decision?" That's a belief you got by osmosis. It just got transferred over to you before you knew what a belief or osmosis was. This is not an anti religion message, only a window into how beliefs are formed.
Then there is "on purpose." I remember a kid from New Mexico I was in basic training with who thought all Catholics had guns in their basement. That's something he learned after he had the ability to logically comprehend. That prejudice was overtly taught to him.
That causes me to ask myself: What prejudices am I passing along?
It's a question you may want to ponder as well.
The answer to outgrowing any belief, whether you received it by osmosis or on purpose, is to notice it. Noticing is a soft piece of magic that puts us into a frame of mind where we can begin to outgrow that which doesn't serve us any longer.
Notice if you're passing along a belief that's poisoning those in your sphere of influence, especially children. Notice that if you're holding on to an opinion that isn't serving you well, you're only serving others the cold reality of prejudice.
People have the innate ability to form their own opinions without being regaled with yours. You know it's an opinion if it begins with "All," "Every" or "Never."
"I never met a (fill in an ethnic group, religious group or race) that didn't (fill in the offending action)."
"I never met a person from the moon that didn't have green cheese on their breath."
It seems silly until you begin to notice that your own assertions, masquerading as facts, are just as baseless.
It's OK to have an opinion about something. Where it becomes problematic is when we label it as a fact. That's when it gets hardened into a full-blown prejudice.
Soften your stance by noticing your opinion doesn't have a leg to stand on. You can still entertain it, but do the world a favor and keep it in your own little corner.
Noticing is something you can do "on purpose" that serves a greater purpose: not to pass on that which cannot be verified by the facts.
All the best,
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