Every day people are defined by stereotypes that often have no bearing on who they truly are. Some groups of society are burdened by negative stereotypes that cut to the very core of hate. We’re starting a new series which will give people who have been affected by these stereotypes a chance to talk about what their experience have been. Below is a short explanation of the effect of stereotypes from the perspective of one of these people.
“There's a whole lot of talking and not a lot of listening”. If I could sum up the world in one sentence I would use that one.
Yesterday I watched a TV show and it blew my mind. Ironically, you could probably use that sentence to describe the world right now as well. In this age of TV shows, it's really refreshing to find one that broke down half a year's worth of tension that had been building up in my mind.
My tension turned to hate.
I began to hate those who had showed me hate. I started to think the worst of people and began, ironically, to judge people based on their own appearance or stereotypes. I had decided that people in every room had already seen a negatively portrayed stereotype of me. I started talking and stopped listening. I let go of my hope in other people.
And that brings me right back to this TV show. Basically, the show pairs people up who might be labelled in a way that they are polar opposites. On paper, they should be enemies, but a really strange thing happens. Whether it's driving together or planting a garden together, in the ordinary instances of life, two people who should hate each other, listen to each other. They both begin to show respect and love for one another.
Maybe I have a right to be angry about those moments, but I don't think being angry will change anything. Let's be very clear, the climate of the world has changed and it begs people to listen to one another and speak out against injustices. There is tension building up almost everywhere, and New Zealand is not immune to it. If my last four months are anything to go by, racial tensions are rife.
"Theres a whole lot of talking and not a lot of listening." It is time we start listening.