Get Email Updates
Demented Diary
Going Wodwo
Crochet Lady
Dan Gent
Sky Friday
Kindle Daily Deal
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

2412727 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (7)

On my daily walks I frequently pass (or am passed by) a middle aged man with a walking stick (not a cane) and an attitude. He looks at me as though I were an intruder (or something stuck to the bottom of his shoe). After many weeks of crossing paths, he has finally acceded to grunting, "Morning," as we intersect on our walks.

I profiled him as an angry middle aged white man on the barest of evidence. Maybe, I chided myself, he just has IBS or some other burden in life and just doesn't want to speak to another human being. Maybe he hasn't had his first cup of coffee. And why should he be pleasant to me? Am I not intruding into his space?

Then, this morning, as he passed me on the sidewalk, I saw the back of the tee shirt he was wearing. In big bold white letters on his black shirt it said, "Gun World, xxxxx, CA".

And I profiled him. His probable social positions, political opinions, the party he would vote into office, his attitude towards women, gun control, social welfare programs, the lot.

I suppose I should be ashamed of myself, but it was automatic, my excuse being that we humans act and think in patterns of belief and behavior. When we see one indication of the pattern, it is reasonable to expect that the other facets exist as well, though there is no direct evidence for them.

It would be impossible to go through the world taking every person, every situation ab novo, as though no previous experience, no situational patterns exist. One would never be able to make a decision, draw an inference, intuit another's pain or joy. So we rely on patterns.

Pattern creation was essential to survival: you hear a roar, you know the likelihood of it being a large predator is pretty high and you hide, climb a tree, or faint.

The important part of this, when living in community, is to remember that each person is an individual and not a stereotype, so in personal encounters to be willing to adjust from first impressions as you get to know the person better.

Everyone named "Bubba" is not a redneck. I'd like to stop this man and chat a bit and see if I'm right about his profile, but his aspect is so forbidding and negative, that I'm intimidated. I'll keep silent, and leave him be.

Animals are so much easier to live with than people.

Read/Post Comments (7)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 JournalScape.com. All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.