If you look closely at the collage above you will recognize many familiar stereotypes. We recognize them because we all know them but the sad thing is that a lot of us use them as well, we use them to label others. You have probably heard that in a job interview the interviewer will judge you within the first six seconds of meeting you, maybe before you even open your mouth to say hello!!! That is a kind of scary notion to me… It’s not just in a job interview you get judged though, people do it every day. Be honest, how many times have you met a person and just decided…I don’t like him/her, he/she is so…whatever. People do it all the time but that doesn’t make it right!!! We can even see actors or personalities on tv and decide, I don’t like that person and we don’t really know the first thing about them.
It saddens me, no it angers me that people are so quick to judge and label others. We read so much about bullying these days and often that stems from the fear of the unknown, the people who are a little bit different, those who stand out in some way. I have never been bullied but I have been labeled all my life. Ever since I was a little girl I have heard people calling me stuck up, a snob. These people didn’t know me at all, if they had they would know that my aloofness actually stems from shyness. Instead of hanging my head, because of my shyness, I held it high, so yes obviously I am the most stuck up snob you’ll ever meet. I remember being shocked quite a few years ago when a five year old girl said my daughter’s pink moon boots were butt ugly… I couldn’t believe that a little girl could be so cruel!!! I knew then and explained to my rather put out little girl that she was probably just jealous because Ulrikke’s boots were a little bit different than everybody else’s. I thought then and I still believe now that girls are the worst when it comes to cruelty, labeling and judging…but hey I shouldn’t say that because that makes me judge mental too.
I talk about labeling from my own experience because that is all I know. I don’t try to portray an understanding of what true bullying feels like because I have never experienced it and I pray my children never will. I do understand or have some understanding of the root of the problem though. People who label and judge others usually feel threatened by their target. It’s not fair and it’s not clever but that is how I have understood it to be. I still get labeled today and I don’t think it will stop, I get it though I’m a big scary blonde often found dressed in some designer get up that doesn’t quite fit in. I didn’t quite fit in as an eleven year old Norwegian girl in San Francisco, I didn’t quite fit in as an eighteen year old Norwegian/American girl in London and I don’t quite fit in as a thirty eight year old American/English girl in this little town I live in now…and not to mention the outfits, I’ve always dressed a little bit different, not always so stylish, but that’s ME!!!
I look at my two, yes physically, beautiful children. My children are two funny little creatures…They are different, they are weird and my goodness I celebrate that!!! In our house we are all a bunch of total weirdos and I love it. I love it because there is not one person who is ashamed to be ourselves and I believe that makes us stronger.
When I was twenty one I made a rule for myself, I decided that I would always give people three chances and not judge people by their first impression. This rule was my response to being judged so quickly, I thought it was incredibly unfair and decided that at least I didn’t have to treat others that way. I still live by that rule and I pass it on to my kids. It is not that hard to have a few conversations with someone and find out what they are all about before you write them off completely. Just because you give someone a chance doesn’t automatically make you like them though. I have learned that some people just don’t like me and I don’t like everyone either but at least give a person a fair go. I’ve also learned that the people who are openly a bit different are often the most interesting, that is why I surround myself with a bunch of weirdos.
I guess my point is that a little bit of an open mind never hurt anyone. As I get older I manage to brush things off more easily but it still hurts sometimes too though, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, of that I am living proof!!!
That was my rant for today, may you all have a wonderful Monday xx