“Your prejudices can easily distort your perceptions. If you have a prejudice against an individual, it will distort how you perceive who he is and what he does.” –Ravi Zacharias
(This is a free-flow exploration born from the above statement)
Prejudice is a preconceived opinion or prejudgment that is NOT based on reason or actual experience. It is an unfavorable opinion formed without knowledge, thought or reason (wikipedia & dictionary.com)
Most of us think of prejudice in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. It has become an emotionally charged word in our culture. Therefore, I’ll use the word ‘prejudgement’ for the sake of this discussion because this is the case for ALL people we interact with.
We must constantly be on our guard against prejudging people. If we’re honest, we understand that we prejudge people before we actually know them all the time. It is almost impossible to keep from doing this. With every introduction or handshake, I am making prejudgements. You are too.
The problem as I see it, is we’re making internal statements about the individual instead of asking internal questions. In my mind, I am making presumptions about this person which amount to snap character judgements. Instead, I should be asking asking myself character questions.