It was World Aids Day yesterday and I was collecting for Aids charities and giving out red ribbons. The city was very busy with people doing their Christmas shopping, so it would seem as if it were a good time to be collecting for a cause. And of course there were many people who gave generously.
But there were also many people who studiously avoided us, and even some who made the effort to come and tell us that we were ‘doing the devil’s work’ to cite one of them!
It made me think about our prejudices – the way we make a judgement about something on relatively little information and refuse to consider any further evidence.
We all have prejudices, and some of them are useful, because they incline us to be kinder or more thoughtful. But we need to remember that the world is full of people who are different from us – not better or worse, just different.
It is the Christmas season, the season of goodwill towards all. For the next few weeks, let’s just check out if our prejudices are useful, and if not, perhaps we can suspend our judgement for long enough to offer some goodwill towards someone who we would normally have judged as not good enough in some way…
- Buy a copy of Big Issue next time you pass someone selling
- Smile at someone you work with who has always evoked a negative prejudice in you.
- List your useful prejudices and use them!