On the Nature of Stereotypes

Los Angeles is a wondrous swirl of countless perspectives, ways of life, cultures and languages. Fashion choices and religion. Beach people and city people. The list goes on an on.

Photos taken at verve coffee in downtown los angeles

I’ve noticed that a lot of things everyone believes about themselves and others could be classified as a stereotype.

Fulfilling the stereotype by holding stereotypical views.

A real chicken or the egg situation.

Older People

LA People

Millennials

Politicians

Do you have certain ideas that come to mind when you hear each of those words? How may people have you seen fulfill those ideas versus how many of “those” types of people are there actually in the world? Chances are, in your experience, one “rotten apple” can “spoil the bunch.” Leading to perfecting your Tina Fey eyeroll.  

But do their actions justify the classification? Or are your views arising from breakdown of understanding one another?

I talk a bit occasionally about building cultural bridges. Could our perceived ideas of people just come from culture clash? A sheer dislike of another culture just because they’re different from our own?

I think there are strings that tie humanity together, and we snip them with our perceived realities of who “that type of person really is.”

What if we got outside our party lines? What if we realized that the “problem” really wasn’t that particular group or ethnicity…it’s really us. And our reactions to things that are different from ourselves?

 What if we didn’t re-act, and just acted like ourselves.

Accepting differences as learning lessons, as little blessings in time where we can experience life through someone else’s eyes and maybe even learn something new about ourselves.