Important Notice: I have been guilty of exactly what I mention in this post.
With that said, I hope this message serves as a point of self reflection and not something to make anyone feel bad.
This is a social world and often, before we think about it, we comment on a topic, a story, or a current event without considering the digital or non-digital footprints we leave behind.
Many times, I have noticed that we tend to compare people or lump them into the same category when we speak, write, or make comments. Most of the time, it is not accurate.
Think about this for a second:
Black people are not all the same.
White people are not all the same.
Hispanics are not all the same.
Republicans are not all the same.
Democrats are not all the same.
Husbands are not all the same.
Wives are not all the same.
Moms are not all the same.
Dads are not all the same.
Homeschooling families are not all the same.
Public and private school families are not all the same.
Christians are not all the same.
Muslims are not all the same.
Just because someone who has certain characteristics does something that is distasteful, disrespectful, or plain evil, everyone else with those characteristics shouldn't be compared to them or assumed to behave, think, or act the same way.
I'll just share a few thoughts based on things I've heard recently.
Homeschoolers are not all the same – There are a lot of stereotypes. You know, ladies wear denim jumpers, husbands are super controlling, and we live out in the country. Unsocialized kids… We stay at home all the time. It's just not true for many. I've been doing a podcast for several months and I don't think most of this applies to any of the guests I've had on the show.
Pastors are not all the same – Lots of times, the things that get the most attention are the fraud, affairs, and scandals that are displayed all over television. The people who often have the biggest platforms can sometimes cause such trouble for their fellow clergymen with their words or actions. It's sad, but true.
Police are not all the same – There are often stories about abuse of power, corruption, profiling, and more. In fact, I saw a link to a video yesterday where an officer reacted in a way that was less than professional. I am sure that it goes on in some places, but I don't believe we should compare one officer to another without giving him/her a chance. It does no good.
Teachers are not all the same – I heard a lady telling a heartbreaking story of a teacher who told her she was destined to fail in life (in front of the whole class). Who would tell a child that? It wasn't until years later as an adult that the lady was able to overcome those words and realize that she could be happy and do amazing things in life. Does this mean that all teachers tell kids crazy things like this? Of course not, so making blanket negative statements about teachers doesn't profit anyone.
Muslims/Christians are not all the same – I heard someone speaking in reference to Christian ministry to Muslims and he made a good point. Many times, people try to share the gospel with a Muslim without finding out what the person believes. It would be the same as a Muslim sharing their faith with a Christian and automatically assuming that they adhere to same rituals and practices as Catholics. There are so many denominations within the Christian faith that do not, so it wouldn't likely be effective.
I could add lots more to this list and I'm sure you could too. The key is for us to grow in these areas and think before comparing or grouping people, especially in a public forum.
Questions for Discussion: What are some of the comparisons you've noticed people often make? What are some false assumptions people make about you? Which ones irritate you the most?