Written January 9, 2016
“All generalizations are false, including this one” ~Unknown
As I usually do, especially if there is conflict, I briefly researched the author of this quote and came up with several possibilities. The main one was Mark Twain, with others being, Albert Einstein, a Chinese proverb, and a Frenchman. Whoever said it was absolutely right when they said or wrote it, especially with what we have going on lately.
Let’s start with the definition of generalizations. A generalization is taking one or a few facts and making a broader, more universal statement. Putting it in this into context with this statement/quote means that all assumptions and stereotypes about a certain group of people who have something in common are false.
Examples of generalizations would be saying that all blondes are dumb and airheaded. I’ve heard them all because I’m blonde…at least I used to be. There are other examples are often related to one’s nationality like all Irish people are drunkards, Polish people are stupid, only African-Americans can jump(as in basketball), and all Italians are mobsters. Then there’s the generalizations that all men are pigs and all women are bitches. Now I think most of us know that these statements are not true.
So why am I writing on this today? I’ve noticed a trend lately. I watch and listen to a lot of people who argue their viewpoints and the one thing I’ve noticed is that when someone disagrees and can’t come up with a logical reason for their position they flip the script and say, “Well you’re a racist, a feminist, misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, etc…”
We saw this in the presidential election. There were many people who said, and are still saying, that anyone who voted for Mr Trump were all those things I said. Yes, there were a handful of people who were those things, but the vast majority of the people are blue collar workers who are friends with people that have different skin colors, from different countries, have different income levels, prefer to be with someone of the same sex and even have friends in an opposing political party. I know I do. I really loved the comment about half of Trump’s being deplorable and irredeemable. While some of those people may be deplorable and irredeemable, certainly not half of them are.
This kind of thinking just breeds more resentment and drives a wedge deeper between groups of people. I could go around saying all the people people who do this are bad people but the truth is they’re not all bad. Misinformed people, yes, not bad. Let’s try something new for this new year. If you are, or know of someone, who is of the mindset that dislikes someone because they’re all alike and believe something different than you, reach out and try to get to know someone. I thought all addicts were dirty homeless people or gang bangers until I got to know many of them.
Thought for the day: A reminder of an old saying, “When you point one finger at someone you have 3 more pointing back at you”.