Stop The Division Caused By Stereotypes : Change The Way We Describe Others And Ourselves
Advertisement emails that really bother me sound like: “Republican leadership is putting our local parks on the chopping block.” I may get criticism from the PCDP for this post, but I think it is important to recognize the hate that this language perpetuates…
What if it said: “Chinese leadership is putting our local parks on the chopping block“, or “Female leadership is putting our local parks…” (I can hear the argument that “they” are not, and I understand that — keep reading…)
The statement above is from an email plea for donations, and the second paragraph in the email describes Mr. Trump’s decisions regarding some environmental issues. The language of the email leads the reader to believe (subconsciously and implicitly) that ALL Republicans are against Parks. My point in replacing the word “Republican” with other “identifying” people terms is that Mr. Trump does not represent ALL Republicans.
I understand that *some* members of the Democratic Party believe that the mission is to further *only* Democratic candidates; however, that is short-sighted. Today, more than ever, it is important to learn to be focused on issues, not party lines.
Snowballing and Systemic Failures
We cannot ignore, nor forget, the distress caused by domestic violence in 1 out of 4 women’s and 1 out of 7 men’s lives — violence that is witnessed by children, resulting in the children acting out — at home where the family is already stressed, and at schools where the teachers are already stressed.
The snowball effect compounded by the continued cycle of violence — and coupled with the current systems which address the symptoms more than the causes — result in more problems.
How can we break the cycle?
- We can make a difference in our communities by getting to know our neighbors. Say hello in the morning and say: “How are you?” After a while, the trust will build, and a conversation will begin.
- We can change the way we describe others. Instead of describing a neighbor as “the Asian lady who ran for City Council”, try saying “my neighbor with the two new kittens.” Yes, that means you need to know your neighbor, and that is my point!
- We can participate in neighborhood events (or we can host a neighborhood event!)
There are many sources that list local events. Do a Google search of “local free events”, check Meet-Up and Craigslist. Sign up for your city newsletter (contact your City Clerk’s office for more information).
Let’s get connected! Let’s build trust (safely and responsibly) in our communities.
NOTE: To build trust safely and responsibly, it requires conversation and courage:
- Ask questions mindfully. Remember that there is no shame in asking questions. If someone tries to shame you for asking a question, simply say: “If I don’t ask, I don’t know.”
- Listen to yourself. If your “Spider Sense” is tingling, take a break. Set your boundaries, and keep them. There is no shame in keepimg boundaries. If someone presses you on an issue, simply say: “No thanks. I have to go. I hope you have a good day.”
- Be respectful, be kind. Observation shows that people become upset when they feel like they have been disrespected. Be respectful and kind. For more tips on being kind, visit http://www.bensbells.org
“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”