I found myself in a city where everywhere I turned there were people who looked like me. Similar clothes, similar hairstyles, going to similar places. But when I spoke to them, they were clearly from a different place. Their accent gave it away that obviously they weren’t from my place of origin. My curiosity was piqued. I wanted to know where they were from and what their background was. I refrained from asking and continued to the next place where the same scenario would happen again.
How many times have we put people in a box because of assumptions we made? Because they looked like us or shared our skin color we assumed they were from the same place and shared our background. How many times during the course of a day, week or month do we make assumptions or stereotype others based on what we SEE? How many times do we stop to ask questions before making our own judgments?
Maybe if we had more conversations and asked more questions, we would see more commonalities than differences. If we weren’t so busy and preoccupied with ourselves, would we take more time to get to know others? Would we be willing to share a little of ourselves with others so a greater understanding can lead to friendships or at the very least mutual respect? Maybe our communities would be more loving if we all slowed down and had more coffee conversations.
Don’t be afraid to get unstuck from your prejudices, stereotypes and biases. We all have them but most of us are not willing to part with them. Be willing to hear a different angle or learn the “why” behind the “what” and you’ll see we are more alike than different and this great big world is large enough for all of us.
~Coletta Jones Patterson
*Coletta is an author, business executive, life/business coach and speaker who is passionate about helping others go beyond stuck. Her latest book, “Beyond Stuck: Creating the Life You Want” is available on Amazon.com.