August 17

Reflection

Prejudice is usually born of ignorance.  We have preconceived notions that we have not tested through personal experience but only by what we have heard or have grown up hearing. We are not born hating or despising people different from ourselves, it is an acquired pattern. People who speak ill of others because of their ethnicity may not know anyone of that group personally. Those who hate gay people may not have a gay person in the family or work with a gay colleague. We can say the same about those who condemn members of other religious groups based on the fanaticism of a minority of their members. We can lose our prejudices when we learn about those we condemn by personal experience.  Getting to know and understand them can change our attitudes and enrich our lives as we realize that our way is not the only perfect way.

Prayer

O God, I believe you are present in all people.
Help me not to foster prejudices in myself or others.

Action

Before making sweeping judgments about others try to learn about them and understand their beliefs and actions.

Suggested Reading 

Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jn 1:45-51

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom
Merry Browne

Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances
Wayne W. Dyer 

If you judge people you have no time to love them.
Mother Teresa

O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand.
William Penn

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
To Kill a Mockingbird 

The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.
Arthur Schopenhauer 

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou

The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.
Tim Holden 

Prejudice of any kind implies that you are identified with the thinking mind. It means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.
Eckhart Tolle

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.
B. White

Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
William Hazlitt

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