By Neha Zubairi
A middle-aged man, sitting at the airport lounge eagerly waiting for his flight to arrive, keeps his bag aside and walks to the restroom to freshen up; so that he can finally eat that meal, he purchased from the tuck shop near the departure lounge. But before he could step out of the restroom, he is ambushed by two armed security guards holding him by force and the third one holding his bag. They rush him to their security office…why? The man had a Pakistani passport and a thick long beard.
This is just one of many different examples we see around us, highlighting the height of stereotypes; created by our own society. But the worst part is, that we as a society, hardly fight against it. Instead, without thinking twice, we give in to our impulse of labeling an individual as a terrorist, if he has a beard.
Not just that, if unfortunately the color of your skin is a tone too dark, you’re in a bit of trouble! You are most likely a drug dealer or you have substance abuse issues. And if you are an Asian, BRAVO! People have probably already deemed you smarter than the rest. If you are a girl wearing a head-scarf, everybody will be appalled, because you are forced into a lifestyle you probably haven’t chosen for yourself.
When a person sees something or someone, they search for any type of information that they might have stored in their memory regarding that thing; making it easier for them to properly understand what is before them. But sometimes, the information that they have stored away in their mind might be wrong. But, on their level of understanding, that perceptions they have are absolutely accurate.
The problem is that most of us are too proud and indifferent, to the fact that we need to educate ourselves and broaden our horizon to see what lies beyond what our eyes see. How can a few physical features and lifestyle choices dictate an individual’s complete personality?
It’s time to rid our society of stereotyping…it’s time to take a pledge to open our mind’s eye and look beyond what we already see.