Tag: human beings

Imperfection in ourselves

As human beings, we have this uncanny ability to see flaws in things. I’m not talking about criticizing, but that often becomes the result of this ability to find fault in something or someone. Some of the ability to find flaws comes from society as we are taught to judge, seek perfection, and determine what went wrong. I also think that as a species we must be able to discern what is good for us by analyzing things for our own safety and well being. Such as things like:

  • Is this good to eat, or is it spoiled or poisonous?
  • Should I trust this person?
  • Is this situation I am putting my self in dangerous?
  • Is what I am making or buying high quality?
  • Is the love I am about to give to another going to be reciprocal?
  • Can I trust you, or will you let me down?

For instance, I had some remodeling done after a tornado did some damage to my home. We had new laminate floors installed and they looked great, except that there is this one spot where someone installing the floor chipped this tiny little spot, and every time I walk by it I notice the flaw. It is this innate ability to see every little flaw in something that probably has led to a lot of our success as a species, as we seek higher levels of quality in almost everything we make or do.

Of course, this uncanny ability to find flaws doesn’t work so well with our fellow humans, especially when it results in criticism and disdain for others that we see as flawed. We will say things like they are stupid, ignorant, lazy, racist, fat, ugly, or any other number of negative adjectives we use to describe others. Here’s the thing, you and I both know that we have our own flaws. Surprise you might not be perfect and of course I would be the last one to tell you that because I am a real bit of work in process by any standards. So this uncanny ability serves us well in many ways and has probably saved our ass over the years, but the price we pay for this ability is very high. Maybe the ability to find flaws in material things can be of benefit to us, but even that comes with a price as in my remodeling example. Other than those situations where your personal safety is involved, it might be wise to turn off the quality filter from time to time and stop judging the hell out of everything.

You have to ask yourself does my judgment I am making about this thing or person really matter? Is my propensity to judge everything as good or bad, making my life better?

Only you can decide how much judgment you allow to be part of your life.



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Stereotyping People

We are a society that likes to generalize or stereotype human beings, and in all most every case we are just full of crap. I’ll give you a few examples:

  • Older people don’t understand technology, but younger people are tech savvy.
  • Baby boomers are out of touch and rigid, millennials are lazy and lack direction.
  • Women with muscles are not feminine, one example of this was based on some Twitter rant about Serena Williams looking like a man. Not a man my friend, she’s hot period!
  • If you have lots of money you must be very intelligent.
  • As a __________ (fill in the blank) you are frugal, illegally here, good at math, highly educated, a dumb redneck, lazy, conservative, liberal, or just crazy. Go ahead depending on your bias just fill in the blank.
  • She is very attractive and as such must not be very smart, probably spends all her time on her looks.
  • I’m a police officer so I am naturally brutal and most likely a racist.
Couldn't help myself, this was funny
Couldn’t help myself, this was funny

The point here is that we make all kinds of decisions based on how we prejudge people, professions, races, genders, and generations. In fact most of the biases we have are not born by experience, but a result of the media we consume from television shows, internet news, and social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook). These generalizations or biases that we hold prevent us from objectively communicating with people. Do you notice that when you actually interact with different people, those biases are quickly dispelled, and instead you understand that what we are is based on who we are as an individual, not the group we are associated with.

If we could begin to interact with each other as individuals and not stereotypes we could cut through a lot of the crap. You may be black, white, asian, hispanic, male, female, old, young, slim, fat, straight, gay, attractive, or unattractive. We do each other a great disservice by putting too much emphasis on how we are categorized, before getting to know each other. Next time you meet someone, just for a while hold off on immediately type casting them as some group with fictitious characteristics; you might just be surprised to find out who they really are. Getting to know a person without immediately judging them is an incredibly useful interpersonal skill, much rarer than one would suspect. These stereotypes that we all have played a part in fostering over the years have only become barriers to communication between us.

When it comes to people, shake off your biases, stereotypes, and generalizations. Everyone benefits!