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Quick Notes: Slow Your Assumptions

One thing moving across continents has taught me is the importance of resisting the urge to judge things and humans only at face value. Your prejudice and narrow view of life generally, could be to your disadvantage. Outrightly judging people based on skin color, facial expressions, physical appearance, sense of style, tattoos, diction, grammar, and eloquence is just a very narrow way to approach the complexity of this world. In the simplest terms, you cannot expressly say who your true ally and the determined villain plotting your downfall will be. Life is far too complex and simple all at once.

In a world where millions are invested in PR, image laundering, and deliberate attempt to craft perception, it would be fair to say, that things are not always as they seem. You know how you get shocked when the political leanings of your favourite actor/actress come to the limelight; you suddenly start seeing them for who they really are and learn to quickly separate personal life from the screen persona.

In this age of social media, one could easily be swayed by what you see online and assume you know people because of the nature of what one perceives following them but the truth they say is stranger than fiction. This also applies to situations, when we judge our challenges to be bigger than they really seem, causing us to be overwhelmed because of our perception about life which is informed by our sphere of influence.

The society we grow up in impacts how we see the world which plays into how we box other humans into certain kinds of stereotypes. What "good" people look like; how "brilliant" humans speak and write; what a "decent" woman should look like; leg chains or excessive body piercings and tattoos are red flags; only flat tummy matters; beauty has to be a certain way; eating with your hands is ewwww-gross; Nigerians are scammers; some nationalities are automatic drug cartel members; only certain foods qualify as cuisine; if you do not belong to my religion or worship God is a specific way then it does not count; you must be married at a certain age; everybody who is married must have kids; Black people can never be good enough at certain things or sudden fear of Black people (even when they are just minding their damn business)...the list is endless.

We are first human beings; all those stereotypes do not matter in the face of life and death. In fact, it should count even in the simplest moments not in extreme when we are faced with life and death before we realize it. Stop being extremely judgemental and paranoid about everyone you meet based on taken-for-granted assumptions especially when it is detrimental to their progress. Yes, we have moments of caution and we must apply wisdom but the sort of paranoia that spreads unwarranted fear about others.

In the end, nobody knows anything and we should not base our opinion about things and people on only what someone is saying without any personal research because no one really knows anything for sure 100%. How many things have heard and you assumed to be true because of the source and then you realized, it was not entirely true and sometimes, a total lie?

On the flip side, we must keep an open mind about people and situations so we are not burdened with the fear of exploring life and taking chances. With life, there are so many uncertainties, and a lot of the unquestionable narratives about issues as we see from news headlines have proven otherwise. The fewer assumptions you attempt to make, the better.

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