Hyde In Plain Sight
Hyde In Plain Sight Podcast
The Problem With Stereotypes

The Problem With Stereotypes

They become a lazy substitute for careful observation

Human nature tends to seek the path of least resistance.

This is particularly true when we hear people using stereotypes to disparage or marginalize others. 

When we hear labels or stereotypes, our first reaction should be to activate our own powers of observation.

In other words, we should trust our own eyes and ears more than another person’s ability to apply scary labels.

People who believe in the superstition of word magic have a tendency to confuse words for things. 

Their goal is to get people to react to the frightening label and not to the reality.

The great semanticist S.I. Hayakawa warned:

The danger of stereotypes lies not in their existence but in the fact that they become for all people some of the time and for some people all of the time substitutes for observation.”

We typically require less proof for the things we want to believe and to insist upon more strict proof for things we hope aren’t true.

For this reason, it’s wise to be extra wary of those who tell us what we want to hear since they are in the best position to manipulate us.

Problems are not solved by those who arrogantly presume that they alone have all the answers. 

And they’re definitely not solved by simply applying stereotypical labels without having to demonstrate the validity of one’s assertions.

Problems are solved by people who are willing to face reality and to engage with those with whom they may have differences.


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Hyde In Plain Sight
Hyde In Plain Sight Podcast
Truths, principles and practices that bring purpose and peace.
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Bryan Hyde