Bullying and Biases

Humans tend to be selective of those who are more like them because sameness brings comfort and security. We can choose who to date, who to be friends with, hang out with, and with whom to do business. We choose who we choose.

I can agree that we have the right to choose the people we associate with. What we don’t have the right to do is mistreat, dehumanize, and demonize the people we don’t choose. Although we may not like certain people, we should respect their right to human dignity and to exist. We should let them go on with their lives and pursue their happiness, goals, and dreams, rather than try to hold them back just because they’re different from us.

Though we may not like a person, we must know that that person is due the same human rights. And where we go wrong is when we regard anyone different from us, “the enemy,” solely on their differences and not because of any actions they’ve done against us.

In deeming someone an enemy without just cause, we force them to become our enemy by the abuse we commit against them. Our offense justifies their defense. We make them an adversary by provoking them to fight back and defend themselves.

Biases can cause a kind of tunnel vision in that we can’t see outside our comfort zones. Sameness and familiarity may make people more comfortable and give certainty and security, but, on the downside, it causes narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness. It produces blind spots, and the more biased we are, the more we miss, or rather, reject information that may broaden our horizons and make us better and more informed people. In short, it promotes blindness to the world around us.

It’s like living in a small town all your life and never venturing outside the city limits. There’s so much you miss because there’s a much bigger world outside that small town.

It’s the same with selecting the same types of people to be in your life- people who look like you, think like you and act like you. You cheat yourself out of meeting many people who are also great and exciting. You miss out on people you could learn from and who would otherwise be significant assets to your life- people who would otherwise be great friends and add love and positivity to your life.

After all, “variety is the spice of life.” Right?

On the other hand, when you base your biases only on character and open yourself up to people who are different from you, you open yourself up to a much wider world. You broaden your outlook, widen your vision, and open yourself up to a broader range of ideas that might add benefit to your life.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

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