Reading an article on the “Let Grow” website (a common sense blog and website about parenting without fear mongering), I was struck by the ease with which people assume the worst in others. In her Blog entry, the author Lenore compares our societies desire to find someone ‘at fault’ with the social mentality of the ‘early modern period’ (1450ad to 1750ad) witchhunts.
In that case it was that bad things DON’T just happen, someone causes them. God, your neighbor, or maybe a witch. I am struck by the mental picture of how we fear monger our children with thoughts of ‘stranger danger’, the boogey man, and all sorts of fear for those who don’t look, sound, or act like ourselves.
As an avid traveller I’ve often been asked whether I’ve encounter rudeness – toward me as a foreigner, assertive female, or American. My answer to their question is a resounding NO. People are people where ever I go. They are curious, friendly, and talkative. They don’t look like me, talk like me, or act like me but they are all GOOD PEOPLE!
So many of my friends over the years have seen hate and malice where it just doesn’t belong. I have tried, very hard, to always give others respect and the benefit of the doubt concerning things I don’t know. But it seems harder for others to do.
Is it because I am a Midwesterner? Touted as the most friendly area in the U.S.? Is it because I am a free spirit? Is it because I DO travel and am aware of cultural differences? Or is it because, like my family nickname (Stubborn Nurturer), I believe anyone can do almost anything they put their mind to?I’m not sure.
What I do know is that almost everyone, when they first hear my view of proactive police stings, believe these stings are a good thing and that everyone caught was up to no good.
Why is that?