0044 (0)7401 719619 keith@wats-on.net

Wow – it is hard to keep up with blogging sometimes.  During this very busy August when my kids are home from University and school – when family and friends are visiting –  it is hard to work as efficiently as normal.  However on the plus side there is so much happening that makes great material for articles.  I now have a wealth of experiences to write about over the coming weeks.

Through the house there has been a constant procession of colourful and interesting friends of my own two teenagers.  Without exception I liked them all and they had great social skills and were incredibly interesting to talk to.  What struck me was their individuality and their open acceptance of others with different backgrounds and views. 

I must admit I would have stereotyped them as ‘typical students’ in the past but I am not so sure what is typical about them now.

A stereotype is of course an oversimplified, general opinion about what something or someone is like. Similar to labour-saving devices, stereotypes are
thought-saving devices, because when you accept a stereotype, you don’t have to think for
yourself at all.

Frozen , prepackaged, ready to use.

But do you realize how dangerous it is to have someone
else do your thinking for you?

The Nazis fed people stereotyped ideas of Jews and
Gypsies to justify murdering them.
Racists will tell you what African Americans are like.
Sexists will tell you what women or gay people are like.
Political parties will expect their members to hold one view on issues, their view.

Does your paper tell you how to vote?  Do you respond to adverts on TV and Radio with little thought?

If you want to grow as a person, you must become your own
authority. Look beneath the surface, and beware of labels. A label is a
one-size-fits-all stereotype, but people come in all sizes and styles, all
colors and models.

We must celebrate our differences not ridicule.

If you are male, how do you feel when someone tries to
tell you what “men” are like? Well, it’s no different for any group.
Oversimplification and overgeneralization rob you of your power and others of
their uniqueness. So resist stereotypes wherever you find them.  The students I met this summer certainly do.

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