Sunday Serenity: Stop the Stereotyping

[courtesy https://www.azquotes.com]

I had an interesting thing happen a few weeks ago while waiting for the train.  A man approached me and began telling me he needed some money to buy a few things at a ‘dollar store’ (for those not in Canada or the US, I’m not sure if you have these type of stores – basically everything is what you might expect; a dollar!).  As I continued to listen to him without saying anything, he commented, “I don’t mean any disrespect!”

I informed him that I didn’t have any money (which was true, as I primarily use other means of payment when I’m out and about).  He began to walk away when I called him back.  I must tell you that he looked quite unsure what to do next; after all, I had informed him I didn’t have any money so why was I calling him back to talk?

As he approached me, he stayed at a distance until I told him I had something to ask him.

“Sir, I’d just like to ask you, why did you specifically approach me when there are a lot of people standing on the platform waiting for the train?” I asked.

You know the saying, “You could have knocked me over with a feather?” This gentleman certainly had that look on his face.  He gave me an answer, which I wasn’t quite sure was going to happen.  This is what he said to me:

“I asked you for money for the store because you are a woman and you are white.”

I stood there for a moment, trying to gather my thoughts so I could say what I really wanted to say.

“So you were stereotyping me, right?”

I’m sure he was thinking, Oh, why did I ask THIS lady for money?

He admitted that yes, he did.  I proceeded to tell him that I’m from Canada, where one of the basic guiding principles is to treat everyone the same no matter where they come from or what they look like.  He nodded his head and said, “Canada! I love Canada!  People are nice and kind.”

I told him that I treat people with respect and dignity and that it is a very sad thing to know that stereotyping can lead to the most negative situations.  I kept talking.  I mentioned that although I know he has no doubt been on the receiving end of being stereotyped by others, I sure as heck wasn’t going to be someone to stereotype him or what he is all about.  I also added that as much as I do not stereotype people, he might want to think about not stereotyping others as well.

My train was approaching so I wished him well and he asked if he could give me a hug  to which I replied, “Of course!”  As I was getting on the train he said, “I hope I get to talk to you another time!”  I waved and off I went.

The reason I wanted to share this story with you is that I deplore any kind of stereotyping.  I am certainly not suggesting that it doesn’t happen in other parts of the world (like my home and native land).  However, I am incredibly saddened when it does happen.  I didn’t grow up judging people because of one trait or another.  I once worked with a person who told me that she never knew ‘who’ I was talking about since I always described them in terms of their personality and energy, not their physical features or gender, etc.  I recall she once said something like, “I never know if you are talking about an older man or a young woman because you describe WHO they are, not WHAT they look like!”

I hope that in a teeny tiny way I helped that gentleman realize people are people, and if we are ever going to change society for the better, let’s try to see past color, gender, and who we ‘think’ someone is or who they are not.

  [courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/pin/402227810449032441/?lp=true]

 

  22 comments for “Sunday Serenity: Stop the Stereotyping

  1. August 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    The world needs more people like this ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Ah, thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it a lot! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie Van Es
    August 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    This is the most important in the world, we have to see to the inside of others. Not to the skin colour, disease , rich or arm. But in fact when someone is else, than he’she has much problems to belong to the other. There has to do much, when the world is human, again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you for your comments, Annie! Yes, we need to look at the person, not the outside. We need to all work together as humans, don’t we? Cher xo

      Like

  3. August 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Canada must be proud of you. I am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 12, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Don, thank you for making my entire week with your thoughtful and kind comments! I really appreciate it immensely! Cher xo

      Like

  4. August 12, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Sprinkling your wonderful post all around, Cher! 🙂 xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 12, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    When I winter in the US I struggle with issues related to this experience. Congratulations on your quick thinking and egalitarian consciousness. I wish I could be as effective!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2018 at 6:37 am

      Ah, bless…..Thank you for your very thoughtful words, my dear. I really appreciate it a lot. I do struggle with it as well. You might be familiar with Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield. Col. Hadfield made some amazing observations while being in space (which I am sure other astronauts have done as well). Col. Hadfield saw the world as a whole and how we literally are all in it together. What a perspective that I think he noted he wishes everyone could have! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. August 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Spoken like a true Canadian my Dear! I always remember that “when welcoming strangers you may be welcoming the Lord”. We lead by example to others who are witness of our behavior. Bless You!
    Cheers! 😊💝🇨🇦

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Well hello there, my dearie! It is so awesome to see you! Yes, you are absolutely correct! I agree completely! Bless you too, my lovely fellow Canuck! Cher xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. August 14, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for producing this great reminder that we are ALL EQUAL. Too many people seem to think that if someone is less equal, they must be better.
    Living this way will eventually lead to misconceptions about themselves and the the world. This sort of blindness will cause them to walk into walls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Hi dear Eddie! Thank you so much for your wise words. Yes, I agree with you. It is sad when people see others as not equal to themselves. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I wonder what would happen if people could see the earth from space and realize we are all living in the same home. Blessings dear Eddie and thank you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. August 17, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I think when you are a person who gets negatively stereotyped. I certainly have, as I look mixed race and I also used to love tomboy grungy fashion, so some white people thought that equaled ‘poor person of colour, must be on the rob or lying to get something for nothing’. You feel like you HAVE to stereo type other people just to know how best to act around them and judge what your chances are of being respected or allowed to do certain things/go into certain places. It’s just easier and less publicly humiliating that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 17, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Chrissie, thank you so much for your extremely wise words. I always appreciate and value your thoughts. You have given much food for thought here and I’m hugely grateful to you. Thank you!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. August 17, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    I do so much love your Canadian attitude though and wish everyone were like that.
    :0) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Ah, bless! Why thank you so much, Chrissie! I was at the pharmacy (chemist) the other day when the clerk said to me, “You have such great energy!” to which I replied, “Why thank you, my dear; it must be because I’m from Canada!” The reply was, “Yeah, that must be why!” LOL LOL Oh did I laugh! And by the way, I appreciate YOU for being YOU! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm

        Well that’s just the best compliment I ever heard! What a nice lady to notice your bubbly personality and to actually say that to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • August 17, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        Thanks, Chrissie! It was so thoughtful of the clerk to say it and I really appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

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