People should neither be judged nor generalized on their race, religion, finances, diet, hobbies, actions, careers, words, or beliefs. Instead of being white, black, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, rich, poor, vegetarian, kosher, or any other labels society and culture have provided us, people should be seen simply as people.
Through my recent meditation, I'm starting to better appreciate how little generalizations accomplish. Many, especially strange stereotypes, are flat-out incorrect. Others are either intended to be hurtful or come from a place of pain. But to make generalizations toward someone is to lessen their value as a human. Prisoners are not criminals, they are people who have committed crimes. Billionaires are not evil, they are people who have amassed a large amount of money. Looters are not thieves, they are people who are committing theivery.
Separating actions, culture, background, and social status from a person's humanity may not be easy at times. Currently in the U.S., tensions are running high between a three-pronged combination of Coronavirus, protests, and mass looting. Throughout all of this, it can be easy to lose sight of the humanity in each person. But in times of tension, it is especially important to be able to isolate someone's humanity and appreciate that, and not worry about the things they've done, what they look like, or what they believe in.
When you start to look at people as persons, rather than labels, anger and resentment are two emotions that become easier to avoid.
Written June 4, 2020