We all experience prejudice. Sometimes we deliver it, and sometimes we receive it. Either way – not good. Sometimes prejudice is unconscious and not deliberate. Yet, for the person on the receiving end – there’s no difference. The pain caused by such vitriolic speech, and behavior, still stings. In our society, and across the world, this insidious behavior is rapidly on the rise; becoming acceptable in our discourse. And that, is totally unacceptable.
Prejudice is not restricted to rearing its ugly head only in cases of race, gender or sexual orientation. Oh no – it can be far more subtle, yet just as insidious as the more overt expressions. For example:
- When you consider yourself superior in intelligence to someone else simply because you have a degree and the other does not. You express prejudice against that person. You discount what that person contributes. What does he/she know?
- When you consider yourself superior in status because you have a lovely home, and the other does not. You express prejudice against that person. Why would you want to be seen with him/her as it might damage your reputation?
- When you assume that an overweight person is lazy and undisciplined, you express prejudice against that person. What could that person offer?
The Remedy for Prejudice
We can eradicate all forms of prejudice by embracing the virtue of disinterestedness. What is disinterestedness? It is the ability to assess situations and/or perform actions without biased motives. This definition purports that it is easier said than done, as prejudice has been woven into the fabric of our society for all time. So, how might one master the virtue of disinterestedness?
- Identify those times when you make assumptions about other people.
- Ask God to help you see others as God sees them.
- Serve others for the glory of God, rather than out of self-interest.
- Respect all people and make no assumptions.
If you take these steps, you will make giant leaps toward eradicating prejudice, and at the same time, master the virtue of Disinterestedness.
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