How much do we actually know someone? Can we even get to know someone?
We all have people in our lives who we love, who we cherish and somewhere in our subconscious we peg them down for some stereotypical role. We might do it without it ringing a bell in but I think most humans tend to do that. Or maybe it's me. Who knows?
Then suddenly they turn around and say something or an event takes place and they surprise you with their reaction and suddenly you see them with new light. You suddenly realize that you hardly know who they are.
So that begs the question, how much do we actually know the people we know?
Do we really know everything there is to know about them or do we just get to know only what they want us to know? Or is it our fault that we presume them to be a certain why based on their previous behavior?
Don't we in some way or the other, stereotype people? Yes, most of us do that. In a very subconscious way. And others do that to us to.
Fat people are fat because they overeat.
Or women who meet men to who they are not married to without explicit written consent from their husband are promiscuous.
Gay men are just waiting to pounce upon straight people who have no idea of what's going to hit them.
Two people of the opposite sex are talking. OhmyfuckingGod, they must be doing each other.
Oh, he's Indian, he must love cricket, melodramatic movies and eating with his own hands.
Oh she's Indian, she must love wearing Sarees, making babies and eating with her own hands.
Oh, that dude looks Oriental, must be Chinese.
Oh he's Mexican, must be an illegal immigrant working on someone's garden.
Oh look, she's white, must be easy.
Oh, she said no to me. Must be a lesbian.
Oh, he said no to me. Must be gay .. (well, maybe she was right in my case) ...
You get the idea ....
Yes, most of us do that. Without blinking an eyelid. (When I say most of us, I'm generalizing. I do not mean you OR me. Specially me. Now don't judge. This post is supposed to be anti-judging. I know, I know, hypocrite. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.)
If we meet someone who seems to have a common attribute with someone else, we do fill in the rest of the boxes based on the characteristics of other people we met.
A lot to do with this factor is how certain types of people are represented in the media.
For example, if we look at how the Indian media portrays Gay people, it is far, far away from reality. In fact, they make it appear to be okay to make fun of someone because of their sexual orientation. Not that the American media is absolved of this. I mean the Gay jokes made by Jay Leno and Lettermen are cringe worthy, as apparent from the recent "My Gayest look" controversy.
Maybe what I'm trying to say is that looking at things objectively, there is a need to shun conventional wisdom and look at each person individually.
Not every Gay guy is like the cast of Will & Grace nor is any woman easy because of her color and not all Mexicans come to the US illegally.
The opinion we form of a person, says volumes about who we are.
And no, I'm not trying to be preachy here. Just bouncing of some thoughts.
After all, we need to tell ourselves, "I am unique. Just like everyone else."