Small gestures make a huge difference

By Melvin Bui

In elementary school, children are taught not to judge a book by its cover. However, the first thing that happens when meeting someone is looking at an outfit or anatomical traits, so it’s hard for some people to not judge.
Taking things for face value is dangerous because it can disregard the truth and leads to faulty assumptions. Some people can’t think for themselves and believe in everything that is placed in front of them. These people believe that everything is set in stone and can’t be changed.
This binary way of thinking is detrimental because most situations are complex and require more than a yes or no.
Political Science Professor Kenneth Chaiprasert said during last month’s Equity Audit Dialogue that taking things for face value or by the book doesn’t work because humans are diverse and much more than the book’s definition.
It is dangerous for people to believe in everything that is placed in front of them without giving it any proper judgement. Blindly discriminating before making any judgement is another form discrimination.
Preconceived notions are instilled in people during their adolescence and enculturates them to blindly discriminate throughout their life.
How do some people know something is wrong, if it has been socially accepted their whole life? They must socialize with new people and find out that their preconceived notions are different, thus helping them acknowledge their closed-minded ways of thinking.
Some people live their whole lives oblivious to the reality outside of their area code or social-bubble, so it’s hard for them to be liberated of unhealthy social norms.
Reading can help show people how diverse the world is and expose them to other people’s realities.
People that always have inconsistent self-conflicting beliefs have cognitive dissonance, when people believe things that contradict. For example, some people that smoke cigarettes acknowledge that they are unhealthy, but continue to smoke them.
These people acknowledge two contradicting facts: that they smokers and cigarette smoking is unhealthy. These people usually change their behavior or thought process to justify their contradictory beliefs, which is dissonance.
People must unlearn their unhealthy habits to have the energy for new mindful routines that can be beneficial to all. For example, helping strangers open doors when walking into businesses and saying “bless you” to strangers who sneeze. These small gestures can help make the days of others that are going through hard times and spread joy.
When people assume, they are making an “ass out of you and me.” It is better to not make any judgment without any context for all situations. This seems extra and unnecessary. However it can save an immense amount of time.
Being mindful and thinking of others before doing things can help prevent altercations and disagreements.
People need to agree to disagree on certain topics since time is precious, and should be used on more productive things instead of trying to prove a point.
People are supposed to think critically while faced with different situations. However, sometimes situations are not as complex as they seem so there is no need to overthink.
People should respect other people’s boundaries and religious beliefs, so everyone can live and let live.

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