What is your prejudice?

Prejudice = any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.

I spent most of my time alone growing up, but when not immersed in a book, horseback riding off somewhere or whatever, I was surrounded by a very diverse, multicultural based part of society.

I have a prejudice, a learned preconceived opinion.

What is it?

That life, people, should always strive to be fair, and seeing unfairness should bother them.

I was raised to believe that no matter where someone is from, what they look like, where they pray (or even IF they pray), or basically ANYthing else you use to distinguish individual human beings, you should always treat them as you would wish to be treated.

Magnify that 1000% if your in the workplace.

A friend from India once tried to explain the caste system to me, because I did not understand how I was seeing people from certain cultures treat each other, or in fact, me.

Someone had said something based on my being female and Caucasian, very nasty and quite unfounded.

Never once in our conversation did either of us mutter the words reverse discrimination.

Discrimination is discrimination, it is not the province of any group to discriminate, because discrimination like prejudice, comes from individuals from any background on the planet.

Fairness.

Equality.

Take the pigeon as an example.

My mom liked them, she had 1 particular pet pigeon that followed her everywhere she went on the farm.  If I was looking for her I would look for that pigeon or the dogs.

Since then I have heard all kinds of bad things about pigeons. I see people treat them poorly, talk nasty about them with an undertone of hatred that surprises me.

Pigeons being one example of where this is the case.

I was never told I could not do anything I wanted because I was female.

My mother and grandmother were pioneers (their names are included on the plaque of an area to prove it). Mom did things that women just did not do, before people realized that you could step into the world believing yourself equal.

It was not to push a boundary, to make herself be accepted, to flout anything, it was simply survival and the understanding she gained growing up doing all the same chores as the men, that if she wanted something she could do it.

Watching the pigeons today, going about their business, it occurred to me that they were a good example of prejudice, discrimination, and unfairness.

I am not a proponent of pigeons, and there are some valid reasons why they are a problem.

However, I have heard people espouse similar comments that I hear about pigeons, aimed in the direction of homeless, poor, elderly and well pick your particular point of vehemence.

It is not my place to tell anyone how to live, think, feel or survive.

Each one of us has our own journey and discoveries.

I admire people who do things to keep society, in all its flaws and dis-functions flowing away from the pits of lava and the dark tunnels that lead to some barely thought of abyss.

As I said, I have a prejudice, it is that things should be fair.  If your giving out chores, everyone in the house should do some, if your buying treats or giving out assignments at work, it should be fairly distributed.

I blame my mother.

In her job, which I did when I entered the workforce, she stressed that everything you do affects someone because you are giving them work, for which they will be paid and no matter what you think of someone, be fair – it IS their survival.

However, fairness is not the easiest path to walk.

People love to say that life is not fair.

Cop out.

Nature, the environment, our health, and war zones…things beyond individual human control may not be fair.

Too many excuse treating someone bad, or another better, by saying “life is not fair.”

Sorry, but unless your a tornado, flood, or other “act of god”, you have the choice to be fair or not.

Life is as fair, as the people you encounter, allow it to be.

It should not be so easy to see, hear of or tolerate, unfairness.

It should matter to us.

Okay, but that is just my prejudice speaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Equality. Part 1. Human Beings.

~ This is just my viewpoint – some folks are not going to like it or agree with it –  I respect other people’s viewpoints hopefully that will be reciprocated.  The use of the word “system” in this post means Government, Politics and general structure of society, not Law Enforcement or Military.~

~~~~~

When I was 16, a “card carrying member” of the Canadian Communist Party spent hours trying to convince me that my views on Politics were not fully fleshed out. How could I not understand that people should all be equal and share the wealth?

Bruce was a charmer, he converted an older friend of my mom’s but there were too many flaws and points he could not get by my young but not entirely naive mind.

Bruce went on about equality of human beings, the sharing of everything curing poverty, crime and the rest of his views of perfection.

In theory, economic and real equality of persons sounds like nirvana but you see even as a teenager I could see the flaws. They appear when you introduce human beings to the mix as the overseers of the distribution of the wealth.  Bruce pointed out that my given example of one horrible deadly failure, Khmer Rouge, could not be expanded to apply to ALL.

It is true, you can not apply one example, experience or news report to everyone in a group (hold that thought for a later post), and I did not. My counter point had been that it is not the actuality of corruption that would halt my belief in such a totalitarian utopia, but the lack of examples of success, and instances where human frailties did not corrupt the system for someone’s gain. Either voluntarily or under threat.

You see there is a basic flaw in people, it shows with people differently, but they all spring forth from the mere, undeniable fact that we are all HUMAN.

There are no perfect human beings, because we all need to strive for something, and perfection is just one of the options available to work for.

Knowing that it is possible for people to follow either path, does not make me assume that any individual will automatically go down the wrong one.

Perhaps that is where Bruce and I differed inherently.

Bruce believed in the system, and saw people merely as cogs within it.

I believe in people, and see the system as what they struggle with to carry out good deeds, and help others.

Or alternately it is the system that gets used to the advantage of some over the majority, or corrupts the positive, twisting it to allow for someone to gain or prevail.

Equality exists, in ways today that it did not in my mother or grandmother’s day.

In THIS country, and most western ones, we are all equal under the law, we may all vote, receive an education, live free and strive to better our “situation” within the channels open to us.

Equality does not mean anyone is more equal, deserves more breaks because of a wrong done to a forefather or ancestor, if this was the case I would qualify as one of those deserving to be “more equal” as the wrongs done to my grandmother were done with government permission and encouragement 101 years ago, this year.

Equality means equal, not more equal, not more deserving nor does it mean hand ups or hand outs.

It means equal.

Things tend to happen in cycles, at some point they have to be broken, like the pendulum they swing back and forth until they hit the tipping point, and a reverse reaction occurs.

Did my grandmother deserve reparation for what she suffered? Sure. Others who survived those circumstances received it, she passed away before she knew she could, always blaming those who forced things on her as a child that she did not fully understand and costing her a family she loved.

Do I think I deserve to get a hand up because of what happened to her? No.

Equality may one day actually mean what it is, that two people are equal and treated fairly within the system of government we have, in any western country.

Some people took that sentence to mean something other than what it did.

Equality as human beings under the law is the simplest thing to acquire.

Being seen as equal, being treated fairly without personal bias or agenda, within that system or even the average workplace, that is where the friction starts.

The system is not meaning Law Enforcement in any way, shape or form but….that part of my thinking will be in a future post.