I like to put people in boxes.  Wait, no.  That sounds creepy.  What I mean is that I tend to make massive assumptions about people based on little to no factual information.  Yeah, that sounds better. 

I am not alone in this, though, right?  We all stereotype people.  We make assumptions about them because of their color, where they are from, their religion, their political affiliation, their educational background, and how much money they have.  Unfortunately, we do not stop there.  We also judge them based on the way they dress, the neighborhood they live in, the type of car they drive, the people they surround themselves with, their hobbies and interests, their church denomination, their preferred version of the Bible, where they shop, the people they are friends with on Facebook, and the specific church that they attend.  That, my friends, is a very sad list…and it is nowhere near exhaustive.

I get it.  It is easier for us if we can meet somebody and instantly understand everything about them.  We feel like it helps us to understand the world better.  It helps us feel like we have more power over what is happening around us.  There is comfort in that feeling.  That comfort is what we seek when we start putting people in boxes.

The scary part is how convenient it is for us all to ignore the fact that the comfort we seek is actually false.  There are no one-size-fits-all people boxes.  Everyone, even if they seem similar to many others, is unique in many more ways than they are like anybody else.  So if we think we can better comprehend the world by grouping people together, we are creating a false sense of comfort, power, and understanding that prohibits us from seeing the world as it really is.

It makes us blind to the beauty that can be found in individuality.  It makes it more difficult for us to come to an actual understanding of who people are and what they stand for.  And worst of all, it makes it harder for us to love people that our Savior loved enough to die for on the cross.

Do you ever find yourself making wild, unfounded assumptions about people?

9/2/2013 02:20:06 am

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