Do you know what prejudice is? According to Mr. Dictionary, it’s a preconceived opinion that is not based upon reason or actual experience. In other words, it’s when you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
Do you know what the recipe for prejudice is? It’s a pinch of laziness, two cups of immaturity and three cups of naivety.
The bottom line is this: If you’re prejudiced against something, you probably lack the maturity to fully investigate it. And if you lack maturity, experience, wisdom and judgment, that is the definition for being naive. So apparently prejudice and naivety go hand in hand.
Now, I’m not talking about not liking something. I’m talking about being prejudiced. You are free to not like something. But you are not free to hate something for no reason.
When I was growing up, near the borders of Montana and Canada, my grandmother would serve lutefisk as part of Christmas Eve dinner. I didn’t like it, but that was my prerogative. And just because I didn’t like it didn’t mean I had to be prejudiced against those of Viking descent, like myself.
Fast-forward 20 years and you’d find me living in the Los Angeles basin, a global melting pot where one can easily work overtime at being prejudiced against every kind of race and thing that inhabits the globe.
People there will be prejudiced against you for the simplest things, including your accent, your small town upbringing, the way you’re dressed, the way you dance or if you have enough moxie to wear a cowboy hat. In Los Angeles, it’s all about status.
They quickly develop opinions based upon very limited information. That’s the urban way, which might be a slight over-generalization (or prejudice), or not.
In Los Angeles, the list of things people are prejudiced against is almost endless, so much so that it ultimately becomes a black hole. Prejudice is hard to avoid there. Someone is always going to walk by with their nose in the air.
It might be safe to say this nation of ours is a little prejudiced right now. Not so much black versus white as urban versus rural.
Then again, a little self-examination might reveal that all of us are a little too judgmental. And do you know why? It’s because it’s a lot easier to read the cover rather than the entire book. We form opinions based upon a lack of evidence rather than put in any real effort to know the facts.
That also might be why we are so easily influenced by television, social and print media and fake news. We allow the media to be our experts because we’re just too busy or lazy to try or we don’t care.
American writer E. B. White said that prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts. Author Mark Twain said that the very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
Whatever the case, if you take the time, you’ll find that almost everyone on this planet is worth his or her weight in gold. You’ve just got to work the mine a little.