Our world gets worse and worse every day that passes by. We have everything to be happy! A beautiful nature, one another, fun places to go and awesome food to eat. Yet, we don’t enjoy it as much as we could if there was more equality and less incorrect assumptions. The stereotypes we tend to create for ourselves in our heads are more powerful than we think. We as human beings tend to judge others with every little thing that they do. We tend to hold particular minor or big fixed ideas that oversimplified an image of a particular group of people or things. Now days, I know people that hold racist ideas that say, “Islamics are terrorists” or “Illegal immigrants come to steal”. It all started with wrong stereotypes that block others vision from looking at the big picture of this group of individuals that are often innocent. In this blog, I will deeply analyze the way all stereotypes have played a huge role on how others are treated unfairly in society.
Stereotypes block us from getting to equality and acceptance of all human beings. The different ideas we assume with a few first impressions every day limit our vision and our learning. If we want to grow we have to be able to learn from all kinds of people out there. But in order to allow ourselves to do that, we need to get rid of these stereotypes we have created. Furthermore, this will stop racism, and we will arrive to a world with more equality. So let’s forget about these assumptions that have many people going nuts.
There have been a few moments in my ride of life where stereotypes have affected the way others have treated me. Not just in my disability sense but in other kinds. I have always been too lay back to care what others think though. That mentality could have made things worse because sometimes I let people treat me a little bit different when maybe I should of not have. But sometimes I don’t want to create more conflict since it wasn’t that big of a deal to me even though MLK showed us to always fight for our rights and equality. At least obviously I have never been treated as bad as African-Americans were back in the day.
We as people with disabilities argue at society since they created stereotypes about us saying things like, “We are all inspirations”. Yet, we also stereotype others as well by certain actions. We all, as humans often assume things for a while until we get the bigger picture of a person’s personality. The problem for everyone begins when we judge by a minor idea then we completely generalize stuff about that person and it sets a barrier that doesn’t allow us to see the awesome person behind the barrier. We shouldn’t let the first impressions of people determine whether we like them or not. Get to know everyone and give them a fair chance👌.
So in school or the work place or anywhere there is always the person that no one really talks to. Maybe because he has been weird with some interesting past actions. After that we assume stuff about that person to keep yourself cool with your friends that think the person is weird or crazy in some sense. Then, they realize that person was completely different than they thought. Some able-bodied people also hold the opinion that those with disabilities don’t go out or we are sitting at home all the day but that is not always the case. Many able-bodied people get super excited when I’m out at a bar. They sometimes buy me drinks just because they are impressed that I’m out there having fun or it might be something else who knows. I exactly don’t know at this point anymore to be honest.
When I got to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my life got easier because I could take off on my wheels anywhere. I was completely free for once. I started to go out a lot to Red Lion a popular dance bar and wear my “I give great rides shirt” (which made many people think I was some junior frat boy that his only purpose was to get with girls). Then, certain individuals on wheels excluded me from a few events and stuff for those reasons. One of them even told me it was because they thought I was a frat boy and none of them were. Eventually mostly every one changed their perspective on me for the better and a few others kept it. This one goes out to those potential people that may see me as a frat player boy still the truth is there is a thing call love that has beaten me up so much. Girls have left me, they have played with my feelings and never care enough to stay. After many girls kissing me, hanging out with me and not wanting anything serious I decided to keep moving on from player girls quickly. This was to avoid pain until I find the right good girl that has good values, nice emotions and mainly loves me enough to stay even if I’m weird in some ways. I’m aware it’s not going to be easy, nobody said it would be but I won’t stop believing and trying just because some girls didn’t want to or couldn’t get serious with me for whatever reasons. So now, I hope that more people know the big picture that they didn’t want to see because of the barriers they built in their heads. This barriers are sometimes established with jealousy, insecurities from the past, and different characteristics. For us with disabilities, assuming things at first or a few impressions is basically a very similar thing that happens when people assume we are all inspirations based on some of our behaviors. Let me point out this, there are a lot of player girls too that break guys’ hearts in our society. Man and women are more equal than ever before. So, let’s stop stereotyping them and treating them differently. If your reading this right now and your unsure about what kind of a person someone is, tell him/her directly to their face in a respectful way and not to others. Consequently, if they are that kind of sketchy person, who knows they might change thanks to your advices.
Furthermore, I invited everyone I knew to a bar crawl I went a few weeks ago. Some people seem to be limited to study a lot or maybe shy or they were simply not open minded about it which I respect. Plus, others had stereotypes one said, “I won’t go I had a friend drink too much and he died”. Not everyone that goes out and drinks dies. Yeah I understand that’s a very screwed up situation but not everyone drinks to get hammered and small risks are worth it at times. You can be careful people can go and not drink plus not everyone will notice and who cares if they do. You can go to dance and network with others. The truth is I had never felt more unity until that bar crawl it was very diverse. I learned a lot from the people I met. I had many interesting meaningful conversations that I’ll never forget since I managed to drink responsibly enough to remember. Few people that don’t drink went and they enjoyed it. They broke the barrier that didn’t allow them to see interesting people that happen to like drinking responsibly or not.
On the other hand, I had built stereotypes about the gay/bisexual community but they were never strong. I never let them limit my vision because who I am to judge what others do. I believe God is the one that will judge everyone in the end. So I became good friends with gay bisexual and lesbian people. I had never done it before and it was awesome after all I don’t regret it. They are great fun people that often don’t get treated fairly which makes me sad. If you don’t have any gay, bisexual or lesbian friends you should try it sometime is not bad like many think you’ll learn a lot from their experiences.
Overall, let’s not let the first impressions we get from someone allow us to fall in the mistake of wrongly stereotyping and creating a barrier. Also, don’t listen to what others say about a person it might not always be accurate. Try to walk on the shoes of the other person for awhile. So we have to get the bigger picture of stuff first and than determine what kind of person someone is. Especially let’s not go out there spreading stuff when we don’t even know what is like to be in the other person shoes. In reality assuming strong or even minor ideas holds back any kind of learning or progress in society. Get to know everyone! Who cares how they look, wear or do! Just be careful, keep your eyes widely open and heart open. As far as America goes it has never been completely great but I don’t understand why people bring this idea up. Until we accept that we are a multicultural country full of immigrants and different people we will get rid of all kinds of wrong stereotypes. We will be able to completely progress. We will progress it by getting rid of racism, learning from one another, innovating, and reaching equal love. That will make America completely great.
Final question, “Will we be able to get rid of all kinds of stereotypes and reach full equality one day?”