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Nope.  Not one day.  Nope.  Not one breath.  Nope.  Not one challenge, one mountain, one project, one poop, one anything other than…one person.  I’d bet that you can’t do just about anything else that could drastically improve specifically your interactions with others and in general the overall quality of life.

When I say to take one person at a time I encourage, if not implore, you to not lump and/or categorize people into categories.  It is intellectual and relational laziness…and ridiculously common to do so.  This is good advice for someone else but clearly not you, clearly not me.  Right?  We don’t do that.  Racists, sexists, misogynists, ageists, captaincrunchists, whateverists…they do that.  But not me, not you.  Hogwash.

I see this these days in many ways.  Here in Pittsburgh we had a police officer shot and killed last week.  There was a picture going viral of a man who pulled over to give the middle finger to the procession of police officers.  Anger, hatred or a mild disgruntledness to the police is nothing new but has elevated over the past year(s).  I was just talking about a man who was accused of stealing from a grocery store and the police shoved his face in the produce while cuffing him…without any evidence.  Go from there to the shooting of suspects and there is a hatred for…police.  Police in general.  Not that policeman, not those policemen (yes, and women), police in general.

Has anyone noticed that we had an election last week?  Yes, it almost passed me by as well (extreme sarcasm intended).  Have you noticed how ALL the Hillary supporters are sore losers?  Have you noticed how ALL of the Trump supporters are racists?  Have you noticed how ALL of the millennials are entitled brats who protest the minute things don’t go their way?  Do you see where I’m going with this?

I mentioned earlier that this was lazy.  It’s so much easier to just assume the worst of someone than give them the benefit of the doubt.  It boosts your argument to associate someone with the worst of those who fall into a similar category or demographic.

It is something, I believe, that you will do as a default.  You will subconsciously do this unless you actively try not to.  It’s, again, just too easy to assign negative attributes of people with similar backgrounds to someone you are actively in conflict with.  You have to purposefully seek to look at that person on the merits of who they are alone.

I agree, this is not a groundbreaking narrative or social observation.  However, it still goes on and I have moved by the subtlety of it.  Even more remarkable, you find those who typically rail against the “isms” in life being as guilty of lumping groups together as anyone else.  It’s not just them though, we all do it.  “Oh, they go to THAT church!  You mean they are a part of THAT organization?  They live WHERE?”…and things like that.

Yes, you can count me in as someone who is against stereotyping.  I am so out on the limb on this one.  Cutting edge social commentary, that’s what I bring you.  But, I ask you this, if it’s so obvious and elementary…why does it still go on?

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