Shaped Perspectives

“Can I have three strong boys to help me move these chairs please?”

The thirteen words said by a fully grown adult that we all grew used to hearing for the first six years of our school lives. An adult who has had many years to alter their personal judgement to what they perceive as correct is putting the idea of sexism in our heads by the age of five or six years old. We all know that children soak up every little detail of the world they have just been introduced to. All these observations build up their judgement, yet the society they are surrounded by cannot be controlled. Our judgement is heavily influenced by inevitable surroundings.

Judgement is commonly the motive behind hatred and violence. In this situation, some people may say that the teacher “doesn’t know any better because they grew up that way,” but change is possible. Learning is possible. Improvement is possible. Our judgement we have built from childhood is not something we can control, but that does not make it a valid reason to cause hostility as an adult. Most of us have years and years to reconstruct the way we perceive the world. Turning to hostility is not the answer to disagreement in those perceptions.

Judgement is an endless cycle. One’s judgement comes from the environment they grew up in, and the influences of the environment that they grew up in got their standards and judgement from the environment before.

Judgement is personal. If every person on this planet is so different, then who’s to say whose judgement is right. “A Work of Artifice,” by Marge Piercy discusses how society shapes women, a standard judgement that so many people hate, yet it still exists and affects many women’s lives. It shows how generations have been taught the same standards persistently. It’s a cycle that the newer generations are finally starting to break.

If we can see that newer generations are able to change their judgements as they grow older, then an adult’s judgement should not be a valid reason for hostility.

In this Korean vs American favorite foods video, we see two young children of different cultures and nationalities coming together to share each of their favorite foods. They are both so open to embracing each other’s likes and dislikes, which comes to show how children are a clean slate. Children’s judgements build up over time. They observe and notice and learn.

Adults can do the same. Adults are capable of learning, or in this case, unlearning. Thus, an adult’s personal judgement should not be a reason for hatred or violence. People should realize, if not already know, that there is no one correct way to look at something. People know they are capable of changing their beliefs, but most importantly, people may not realize that their closest influences and teachers are not always right.

Much of society relies on judgement as valid reasoning for hate. But if judgement is personal and relies solely on an individual’s observations and learnings, how is it valid to automatically turn to harm when in disagreement? What someone learns through their lifetime is completely unique to themselves, giving their side to a story. It should be far less common to use personal judgement as a reason for hostility.

Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

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