Biases Bring Out the Worst In Me

Prejudices and biases die hard and often hardly die. Many of the problems and conflicts we see around us are due to many preconceived notions people have of one another. The Holocaust was brought about by intense and deep seated antisemitism. Even today, conflicts in the Middle East are due biases among sects of the same religion; internecine wars in Africa are due to long-held tribal prejudices. Immigrants are not welcome in many places because of biases and prejudices; and yet man’s history has been one of constant movement of people. Gays have always been prejudiced against because of a narrow or even lack of understanding.

I have often had to catch myself from blurting out hurting comments or insensitive remarks born out of my own biases and prejudices, of which I have many. Often, I miss out on what is really happening or who people truly are because of my preconceived notions of people and events. I miss out on appreciating and enjoying what is good and true and beautiful because I immediately dismiss them with a haughty: “What good or truth or beautiful can come out from such place or such a person?” Such pride and hubris can only be healed by the humble admission that I do not have a monopoly of the good and the true; by an abiding faith that everything that God has created carry their own share of the good, the truth and the beautiful and that everything is gift;  and by a deep sense of gratitude for everything and everyone who comes into my life.

They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Mark 6:1-6

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