Our exercise of the seven predispositions proved much in terms of how we use our own experience coupled with stereotypes. (Yes, your comments led us here!) Let’s see how that affects how we feel about blonde Quaint.
I am like that.
The very first thing we do when we meet someone is try to find similarities. This gives us some common ground to share for important things, like conversation. As you learn about Quaint, you are learning about yourself.
Many of the comments qualified the instant reaction by identifying how the commenter is (or was) one of the seven descriptors. Why is that?
I know because I am/was.
Those instant reactions are a form of judgment. Whether we like to admit we stereotype or not, we do. When we see ourselves in someone else, we assign our feelings about our condition to Quaint.
Those of us who have been blonde remember it with nostalgia or disgust. We either enjoyed the time we were blonde (young childhood) or hated the way we were treated (as though we were stupid).
For the good memories, we see Quaint as someone who represents fun, childhood or innocence. For the bad memories, we either assign sympathy or disdain for Quaint. We seek out the intelligence to dispel the stereotypical myth or we fall headfirst into the assumption Quaint could not hold a cogent conversation.
I know someone who is/was.
Now, hold on. Did you know Quaint before you were introduced yesterday? It is baseless to assign character (or lack thereof) to Quaint based on the actions or inaction of someone else. This is guilt by association. Just because your lying, cheating thief of an ex was blonde does not mean Quaint is going to sell you down the river for a lottery ticket.
I am a redhead.
Being different offers a great opportunity. Diversity is the spice of life. After all, if we were all the same, where would the fun of the discovery phase be?
Embrace the cultural, spiritual, educational, emotional, physical, occupational and/or familial differences. You may well learn something which would make your life a much better place. And if you discover something which makes friendship impossible, do not assign it to the next blonde you meet.
Quaint is such a blonde.
Stereotypes all begin somewhere. If it turns out Quaint can be confused by alphabetizing a bag of M&Ms, chalk it up to someone has to graduate at the bottom of the class, instead of using it to concrete your theory a lack of melanin is indicative of a lack of intelligence.
Quaint is a member of Mensa.
Proof positive exists: Stereotyping is all claptrap. When Quaint casually refers to the second law of thermodynamics as prohibitive to the irreversibility of time, hair color becomes thoroughly irrelevant.
Stay out of the bear trap.
If you cannot avoid judging Quaint (and you cannot), be fair enough to judge only Quaint’s characteristics, rather than the ones you assign based on your knowledge and experiences. If you are lacking information, ask. Finding this portion difficult?
Be the bait.
Do you want to be judged by your appearance, Quaint’s experiences and the “Hello, my name is (Mud),” you gave Quaint to go on? Thought not.
If you have missed any of the first four installments of the Identity Series, please visit the posts below:
The comments are always key to how we get to next post. Feel free to comment on the past posts as well as this one.
Which friend were you the most wrong about at the first impression? About which of your children’s friends were you most wrong? Which stereotype could be wrongly used about you?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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