Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Say NO to Prejudgment! Kill the prejudice!

I recently read a book called Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Augustus Masters. A great book about the mechanisms that push us into unhealthy denial of our own feelings, like: "I was too harsh for my girlfriend today, I should not have shouted on her so much" - "it is because I haven't prayed too much lately, I am too weak in my faith, I am missing the leading power of God". Or more secular interpretation: "I overreacted because I am disfunctional, I grew up with a harsh father", or atheist interpretation: "I haven't read enough articles from psychology, how to control emotions, maybe I should have been more aware of the low atmospheric pressure causing me to be irritated due to diminished ability to focus - I am missing the leading power of Science". Maybe: "I should have taken a spare tube, I wouldn't be so angry after walking home for 3 hours in hard clipless shoes"

Basicaly it is about making up something about a feeling or reaction we are having rather than trying to get to the bottom of it, which is: "I got angry for a reason: it took her 1,5h to dress up, and we got late, but I am poor at controlling anger which is a perfectly normal human reaction". It is how we deal with anger that is important: we can take it from just getting angry, to shouting at someone, even to hitting someone. We can also subside anger inside and turn it against ourselves, hurt our selves mentaly or even physicaly. There is a third option and that is to use anger as a motivator to take some kind of action with a positive outcome. It may motivate us to talk to another person about the issue afterwards whcih is better than staying quiet until one of similar situations in the future would make us explode. 

Same mechanism applies to prejudice. We can be disturbed by seeing and hearing a man coming from another culture, talking on the phone gesticulating, being overaly loud, which is not a normal behaviour in our own social sphere. It is perfectly normal to get any kind of emotional reaction by noticing a differnt behaviour, different skin colour and language we don't understand. Again, we may stop it there, by just noticing it, but many people will make further judgements and this is where the mechanism kicks in again: we may start thinking that he comes from medieval country, he is a bloody bla, until we get to true racism. Next steps may be talking to your friend about it, writing FB status, maybe looking for groups being against immigrants. Further, we may go on some march with banners full of hate words, then we may start to find occasions to beat people of different colour of skin, which in my prejudgment classifies as being fucking stupid. We may also get a histerical reaction basing on political correction which is: oh no! I should not have noticed him! He is just another human being, he is just like me, oh no I may be racist! Then we may look for FB group being against racism and prejudice, eagerly pressing LIKE buttons (just to clean our conscience - ooops prejudgment again). Ultimately we may turn to be aggressive against anyone having any notion of having a sligthest issue with immigration, throwing RACIST! all around, posting stuff on FB, making sure everyone sees it, and spoting which of your friends like your post, and who may be a potential racist not liking it - which I prejudge as being fucking stupid. 

We may also use this emotion of seeing this man to endeavour our own actual feelings, to recognize and be aware what is going on with us when we come into a prejudgment state, if just to save ourselves energy as space in our brains. Thanks to working in that spirit, some may stop having problem with gay people (which is fucking stupid, but I allow anyone to be prejudiced against heterosexuals dressing up like stereotypical homosexuals - it confuses everybody, straight and gay!). But being too harsh on yourself is bad as well, sometimes, or probably for most of the time, we should just let it go, just don't take any action and don't fuel that feeling. I honestly think that a stereotype is just that, a lighthearted generalization that does not go too far in terms of hate against another, or too complex thinking about oneself. It allows to relieve the pressure and off course we must be on guard how much we believe those and share those, but I think stereotyes have some bit of kind humour in them and that always allows to get some distance and perspective. I am not encouraging anyone to have stereotypes, I like a few of them but I am not willing to tell them directly to concerned parties as it is simply impolite. I do believe there is a difference between prejudgment, prejudice and stereotype.

So let me present you the gradation of levels of prejudgment in the case of expensive biking products:
1.The first thought: what - that price?! - Great! you are able to think critically! 
2.One not aggressive comment - ugh if you have to, fine. 
3.Ranting for two hours - get a life mate
4.Making a meme or satirical drawings making it to the PB main page - really you are a troll! You are messed up and you better get it and stop it...Hmmm... 
5.Starting an FB group against expensive components - check your head right now, you do need a doctor, start taking vitamin D at least 
6.Organizing a protest at Sea Otter or Interbike with transparent full of hate words against "greed of the industry" - you are seriosuly fkd, you really need a doctor because you are beyond salvation, you need drugs and therapy to function properly! 
7.Burning ENVE or Santa Cruz factory 
8.Jail, suicide or world domination

I think that anyone having trouble wth people having trouble with the price of those rims or bikes above the magic 3000$ limit - I prejudge you as people not understanding human nature and I end it here before I go to step 3... wait... shit I am already on the verge of 4 and 5...



1 comment:

  1. tl:dr haha, no, just kidding, nice article :)