Most of the time, I try my best to be a tolerant, open-minded person. However, personal beliefs can often get in the way of broadmindedness, and that’s when prejudice may rear its ugly head across the narrow maritime border to Russia. We each have our own values, our rights and wrongs, and our preferences and pet peeves. As such, it’s easy to assert that what we know is right. We can often end up judging others based on their appearances, political beliefs, favorite TV shows, aptitude at Scrabble, etc. We can find ourselves questioning the intelligence of blondes, recoiling at the sight of obese people, and raising our eyebrows at the loony with her alien theories. As different people with differing opinions, we all judge.
Even though there may be legitimate reasons why we judge others (um…aliens for world peace?), that doesn’t mean that our inclinations are defensible. We have seen how judgments may lead to societal prejudices that can be harmful and degrading: racism, sexism, and crimes against those of a different religion or sexual orientation are still prevalent. While many countries have made some efforts to eradicate institutional discrimination, it’s harder to erase the predispositions of individuals.
So what is one way to reduce the existent partiality in society today? Honesty. If we admit to every ugly, narrow thought we have, then perhaps we will be shamed into having fewer of them. The following, then, is a list of groups that I have inexcusably looked down on. I’d like to think that I treat all individuals the same, regardless of whether they fit into any of these groups, but perhaps this is untrue. Either way, this exercise is rather enlightening…
Top Ten List of People I Judge: (apologies in advance)
10. People with Southern accents (I don’t know why, exactly, but I hate when people say “y’all”. I’m sorry. You can make fun of Bostonians.)
9. People who type liKe tHiS aNd uSe LoTs of ExClaMaTiOn pOinTs!!! (It was mildly annoying in 6th grade, and it’s even more so now.)
8. People who say “dang”, “heck”, and “fudge” instead of the real thing (Although I would hire them to babysit my children in the future.)
7. People who do volunteer work just to put it on their resume (I suppose the act of doing it is better than doing nothing at all, but I wish more people had pure motivations… But perhaps that is being too idealistic.)
6. People who make spelling errors on important presentations (It’s called a dictionary.)
5. Vegetarians who make you feel bad for eating meat (I’m not waving a hot dog in your face, so relax. You made your choice, I made mine.)
4. Compulsive whiners (If you’re reading this on a computer, you probably have a good life compared to other people in this world.)
3. Fundamentalist Christians (Even though I know not all of them are Bible-thumping zealots, I tend to blame them all for advocating creationism, rejecting science, and re-electing Bush in 2004.)
2. People who don’t think global warming is happening (Really??)
Finally, the number one group of people who I judge…
1. People who misuse “your” and “you’re” (The fact that this is at #1 really speaks to my anal-retentiveness with punctuation. But it’s true: I really hate when people do this.)