Friday, 27 February 2015

It's probably not that simple

I was watching a Swedish news show on tv this morning, and I saw this notification at the bottom of the screen:

"It's possible to both like social media and reading books."

And I'm like: "What!?" Obviously not because I'm actually surprised by that fact, rather more surprised that it is regarded as news.

It might seem like something not worth getting worked up about, and maybe it was intended to be a bit of a joke (I hope) but still, it got me thinking. I feel like I've seen and read quite a lot of things lately that just show how incredibly restricted our view of people can bee. And I'm getting quite sick of it to be honest. So you find out someone really likes reading books and you immediately connect all of these other traits and interests to that person. Maybe you think they are shy, that they don't really like going to parties, and (apparently) that they don't like social media (it just sounds more and more stupid to me). But that could be totally wrong! Someone could like reading books and be totally outgoing and love partying.

I feel like this view on people can get quite dangerous, and it can make you judge groups of people. Someone sees a beggar getting picked up by a fancy car and your reaction is: "Well, obviously all beggars are part of a criminal organisation and they are all EVIL and just want to take my money!" A muslim organisation destroys ancient statues and your reaction is: "Well, obviously all muslims are EVIL and want to take over the world!" While the actual fact is that extreme events and people like these are usually only representative for a very small part of a community.

We need to start seeing people as actual people and start holding people responsible for their actions, not religions or ethnicities or whatever other criteria we can come up with. But we also need to see people's actions in a larger perspective. While there seems to be a very large will for people to simplify things, problems in society more often than not are there because of a number of reasons which can be intertwined in a very complex way. And people are also very complex, it's not just a matter of ticking of some list with different traits. So please just think one extra step before you judge someone, because you don't know their situation.

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