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Learning to tackle another fallacy of thought- Over-simplifying your reality by categorizing others and yourself.
By Brittany Marie, 2012-05-19
Since I began my dread journey about one year ago, I have experienced a major shift in my consciousness and witnessed many amazing changes in my reality because of this shift in thought. Not all of these changes can be attributed to my dreadlocks, but one significant change has a direct correlation to them, which is the categorization of people based on religious belief, skin tone, ethnicity, working class, and lastly and most relevant to my interests, style (particularly hair style).
This topic is not new to anyone whom is currently reading this because, well, everyone who has ever been in a social environment has witnessed this remarkable fallacy of human thought.This categorical way of thinking is remarkable because, though we are social creatures who are all in search of love and acceptance, we choose instead to build up metaphorical walls around ourselves to barricade us and the few others 'like' us within them, which, of course, leaves everyone else in your life somewhere outside of these walls and susceptible to judgement by you, leading you to push them further and further away from your being. In some cases, you may push people so far from you that you dehumanize them in your mind simply because there are so many differences between you and these people (i.e. resenting homeless people for being homeless even though you know nothing of their personal struggles, or our soldiers resenting the citizens of the countries that they are invading simply because their way of life is so different from our own).
These are blatantly fallacies of thought! We fool ourselves into categorizing people because we want life to be simple, we want PEOPLE to be simple so that we can better understand them, so that we can know before getting to know them whether or not we can relate to them. The truth is that life is not simple and neither are people. The truth is that you can relate to anyone if only you focus on what you share in common with one another instead of what sets you apart... Not all Asians are good at mathematics, just as not all dark-skinned women with kinky hair are crazy, not all business men are soulless prudes, not all environmentalists are 'hippies', and not all dread-heads smoke weed and discuss political conspiracies.
I have met businessmen that have done Ayahuasca with Peruvian shaman, dread-locked brothers and sisters that have gone to school to be businessmen. Each of us has something to bring to the table, some knowledge or trade that we can contribute to better the whole of humanity. When we focus on our differences, we separate ourselves from one another and lose the other's contribution in the process. Instead of having a well-rounded and balanced society, we have a society that prizes science but belittles art; Logic is rewarded while emotion and creativity are suppressed. My hope for those who are reading this is that you will embrace both sides of your mind, using both intuition and intellect to reach and maintain balance within yourself. Namaste`<3