Take a second to imagine being trapped in a box. It’s so dark that you can barely realize that you are in one. With nowhere to go and no room to grow you begin to suffocate. You have just been stereotyped. We all learn how to live and how to die because everyone is trapped in some sort of box. We are all programmed to trap others in a box. How many of us have decided to treat a person the way we do based off another person’s opinion(s) of them. How many people have you chosen not to forgive because someone hurt you? How many of you don’t understand that hurting people hurt people?
For my entire life I was always the type of girl who would never judge someone because of what they looked like or based off what they possessed. Unfortunately, I am guilty of categorizing people based off my own experiences with them and my opinion will easily influence friends or family members of those who I am against. Today’s blog involves a challenge. We are all guilty of stereotyping others. We chose who will be close to us and who will not be based off our conditional thinking. The problem with being conditional is that it never allows us to truly love our neighbor as we are supposed to love ourselves. Understand that people are going to hang themselves so, find ways to still show forgiveness even if it has to be from a distance. Show forgiveness even when you aren’t the one who was hurt.
Here is a brief story of something that happened to me. A longtime friend introduced me to a longtime friend of hers through Facebook. When he and I first met we ended up really having a lot in common. He loved video game, was spontaneous, positive, funny, would watch any girly movie with me and more important, he was very intelligent. More than anything I love a beautiful mind. Moving forward, what I had with him did fade. Sadly, my old friend had the mental capacity of a 12 year old and I do forgive her and myself for any anger that I did feel after she betrayed our friendship. She had an argument with a friend of hers on Facebook who became a mutual friend of mine. I don’t get involved with foolery so, when she and the mutual friend had a falling out she expected me to follow her blindly.
I remained friends with the other girl because I am not easily influenced. Months passed where she didn’t talk to me. She ended up sending me a message stating that she apologized and that she still loves me because I was a sister to her. She was just mad at me for choosing to still be friends with the girl because she knew her first. I told her that IT’S FACEBOOK! (This became one reason why I am not a fan of Facebook today, it’s exhausting. Her revenge, she was able to convince the guy she set me up with that I would betray him. It was an interesting blow because I would never think he was the type of person whose mind could be influenced. He was one of the men I’ve ever taken serious. I see now that he wasn’t so great after-all because I know will end up with a man who will think logically for himself. Also, I believe that somewhere in his sub-conscious yearned to find a reason not to trust me. I was placed in a box and because of the program to stereotype he was inspired to follow someone else’s beliefs. It didn’t matter how sweet I was, nothing thwarted his decision to believe what my dear old friend convinced him to believe.
To all my readers I encourage you all to challenge yourselves for as long as it takes, to remove the boxes you placed people in. If you are introduced to a mutual friend’s enemy, break those barriers by getting to know that person for yourself. I would always advice to proceed with caution but, don’t allow someone else’s perception to affect how you will treat someone YOU don’t know. Sit back and think about how many people you can free just by showing them love. Don’t ever declare a stranger an enemy. You could never understand how much of a difference you could make in someone’s life and vice versa.
I once heard that truly successful people are not prejudice. If you hold someone else back based off a stereotype then you too will be held back. Once again, remember that life on the outside is a mirror image of what’s inside. Take the box that you created or the one created for you and remember we are all humans trying to survive. In truth nothing gives us the right to think any differently other than loving your neighbor. In order to love You Must Remove Conditions. Even if you are not religious meditate on this scripture. See past religion and think of what the proverb means. Ask yourself is this how you show love for self and for others known and unknown.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I thank you all so much for reading my thoughts today. I am overwhelmed with gratitude because I really believe that what I stand for will make a difference. Leave a comment and click the like button and feel free to share with the links below. Live well in happiness!