“These teenagers break everything”
That’s what I overheard an elderly lady say to her friend as she looked at a drinking fountain in a little park near Philly. How did she know that teenagers had done something such that the fountain would not work? I did not have the faintest clue – there was no physical evidence of anything. It just did not work and that was all.
Isn’t it ironic how little it takes to judge folks? This little example may be able to illustrate how easy it is to discriminate against others. The greatest fallacy that is committed here starts with generalization. When this enters the game one person is put into a grouping of people that is somehow different. It is so much simpler to be angry at a group than it is with a single person. Is this fair or right though?
There are telltale words we use when we start to place people in a group:
- “Those people”
- “These people”
- “You guys”
- “You people”
Here is a challenge for you: During the course of the next week try paying attention to when you start using these words. Think about if it was really a whole group of people doing something you do not like, or are you just in need of someone to blame? While we can really never change other people, we can make a change with ourselves. That would be a great start for making our world a better place.