Well..we all have seen quite many debates about racism going on around us in the past few weeks and I hope this article is not going to be another of those debates. Instead, I want to express my understanding of how we become conditioned to think about a certain section of society. It has a lot to do with how our mind works.
According to me..it all begins in childhood.
Children as young as 3-month-old infants can differentiate people based on their skin colors and they become completely capable of understanding different races by the time they are 3 years old.
We all know children are very receptive at that age.
They are always soaking up and absorbing everything that is going on around them like sponges. They are very observant and tend to learn a lot from what people near them say or how they behave.
Smallest of things like the dolls they play with and the cartoons they watch or even subtle changes in our expressions and behavior when different people come in our vicinity make a huge impact on their little minds and largely influence the way they perceive things about everything in their surroundings.
It is our way of learning that we separate and categorize similar things into groups because it makes learning easier.
That’s how children learn most of the things in early schooling and that is how they differentiate between skin colors and identify themselves as being a part of a certain group.
At this point, we need to remember to tell them that all differences are normal and that nothing is wrong or right.
When we all fail to understand that being different is okay, it becomes our first step towards stereotyping a particular section of society. We all need to learn and share with everyone that all of us are the same and equal.
Another thing that prompts us to believe a certain way almost subconsciously about particular skin color is the media. We all have grown up watching T.V commercials and movies that say being “fair” is “lovely” and that it is “beautiful” and “desirable” to be fair.
When we sit back to think about this, we might realize that individually, we are actually neutral to these differences and that it is these factors that manipulate our thinking towards believing in these stereotypes without our notice.
It is alarming how they have been “injecting” these opinions into our minds for so many decades now.
It is sad that we turn a blind eye to how much trauma and injury we give to a victimized section when we as a society believe in these prejudices. These thoughts and beliefs might hinder the development of the self-esteem of people belonging to these sections.
They might lose hope in the world and the kindness of the people.
They might just think it is not worth being compassionate in this society and choose the path of hatred. Let us not be the reason for causing this damage to them.
We definitely want to make the world a better place to live albeit in our own small ways.
They could be as simple as giving kids dolls of all colors to play with, drawing stick figures with different crayons and not just “skin” color, and reading them books with people of all colors, shapes, and sizes.
I think the issue is not only about racism, but it could also be anything else, it could be language barriers, regional differences, cultural variations, gender roles..anything!!
And we can only solve these problems by changing the way we think about them. These problems have a lot to do with our minds and thought processes.
We need to be cautious of the small things that manipulate our thinking without even us knowing about it and how indirectly we believe and do things that are not of our intention.
Afterall…WE NEED TO BE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.
Do share your views and thoughts on this in the comments. Thank you so much for reading through this.
I’ll see you next Sunday with another post..until then…Toodles!!