Stereotyping and Misjudgments

SOME METHODS TO APPROACH STEREOTYPING AND JUDGMENTS

1. CHECK YOUR LOGIC AND REASONING. Sometimes, it’s not the logical process that is faulty or in question, but our intent behind the logical process that reveals a lot. Sometimes when we focus on the differences so much, we do become prejudice because we forget something very important from the beginning in sorting out facts. Some does not mean all.

2. CHECK WHETHER THIS IS SOMETHING YOU LEARNED FROM OTHERS RATHER THAN DRAWING YOUR OWN CONCLUSION WITH A PROPER APPROACH TO THE FACTS.

The “mundane majority” often tries to perceive Some as All in getting the majority to adhere to certain beliefs. It’s a technique that we can debunk and choose not to assimilate into the pagan community.

Look seriously at where you acquired this All focus from. Parents? Other events? (I saw your post about this, but I want to put this out anyway as a method for all of us in busting stereotypes). If say, you were beaten by three black men. Then, look in your past for something that occurred involving other races OR BELIEFS as well. Have you ever had a fight with a white man or a couple of white men? Perhaps, then the focus can then be more aptly placed on the violence issue rather than a racial issue.

If you don’t have a direct comparison, then look for the next closest. What I would suggest you focus on from the facts that you presented in this thread is that not all black people are violent and that not all black people fit your stereotype. Change your focus, approach, and interpretation of the “facts” to support the other side of your stereotype issues.

3. COMPARE IT TO A STEREOTYPE OR PREJUDICE THAT DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOU, YOU BELIEFS, OR SOMEONE OR SOMETHING CLOSE TO YOU AND THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD HANDLE THE PREJUDICE.

Take the focus off of color for a moment and look at the difficulties Asatru and other Nordic / Germanic paganistic belief systems have encountered for example. (They have been associated in mainstream culture with Nazism. For the longest time, Asatru were denied a voice or even an opinion because of this association. For a long time, Asatru had difficulties even being accepted in the pagan communities because even pagans and Wiccans did not want to be stereotyped with Nazis and many felt that they already had enough stereotypes being a pagan and/or Wiccan to bust a Nazi stereotype mixed in.

What advice would you give to someone who has the Nazi prejudice against your belief system? If they sincerely wanted to understand? First, you would have to say that while there may be SOME, it is certainly not ALL, right?

So how do we all bust our prejudices or at least keep them in a proper place in our minds.
Change your focus from All to Some and desensitize yourself by putting yourself in places to meet people who do not fit the “stereotype”.

4. DESENSITIZE AND EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THAT WHICH DEBUNKS YOUR OWN STEREOTYPING.

Become more familiar with the stereotypes.

If you have a stereotype that all black men are violent, then don’t go visit prison to speak to black men to debunk that. That is just for purposes of reinforcing and not being productive. Go “undercover”. Go to a really good African American Church and look for the good works that the black men do there. Speak to the black man who stands for his family and his community. In fact, I would recommend that you speak to a pastor of an African American Church and explain that you are trying to debunk your stereotype issues and want to meet established black men. As long as you don’t go all pagan on them, they are usually more than happy to help you. If they say something about pagan, just explain that you want to focus on your stereotype issues right now.

5. ACCEPT AND FORGIVE YOURSELF.

You may never “completely” emotionally get over a stereotype, but you can control it and keep it in its proper place. We are very complex psychologically and sometimes, it may take far more time than a few days or weeks to overcome a stereotype, but you can reach a point in the journey where you acknowledge and appreciate your own spiritual growth and willingness to deal with such things, by acknowledging that you are working on it.

Stereotyping and judging is a method of survival, but it is also a completely overused tool by the “mundane majority”. It is when we have a FIXED AND IMPERMEABLE stereotype or judgment not based on (or misunderstood as) as universal truth that we spiritually become STAGNANT and fail to progress. Spirituality is a journey ~ an ever evolving journey.

Remember, you are showing your own great strength by tackling your own stereotypes and judgments.

Brightest of Blessings and may the Lord and Lady help to guide you through these difficult spiritual obstacles on your path..

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