Prejudice reaches farther than assumptions based on race or religion. The word itself means “PRE-JUDGE” to assume that someone has certain characteristics based on an external, rather than an internal, criteria.
We pre-judge someone as poor if s/he’s shabbily dressed. We pre-judge someone as a business man because he is wearing a suit. We pre-judge someone as stupid if s/he uses rough English, or as intelligent is s/he speaks well. We pre-judge people as “good” if they appear friendly and harmless, as “bad” if they appear menacing or unkind.
These pre-judgements may seem trivial, but in fact they’re dangerous-because we may never look past the outside to see the person who lives inside. We may not get to know wonderful, because we didn’t look close enough to recognize that hidden value. We don’t want to be judged by our appearance, and we don’t like ourselves when we judge others that way.
Stopping pre-judgements isn’t easy. But little by little, starting today. Let’s try.