Sunday, July 18, 2010

My experiments with stereotyping

Well that’s what I love doing….stereotype. Gives me a pleasure of knowing that I have an edge over others in knowing someone…so yes I can know any one’s  characters based on the name, the place they came from etc etc. This beside the fact that the fundamental law of Life Sciences state that “Biology is a science of exceptions”….Wait a minute nobody said anything about anthropology …so well I think I can happily stereotype every human being without violating any laws.

Did I just say I can? Unconditional apologies to everyone. I have realized through the passage of years that every one of us like to do our own study of human races based on the experiences we have. This gives all of us the power to understand the whole community, an area and sometimes a whole nation based on the experience with a few individuals. So when we meet someone with the same credentials of community, religion or area the experience takes precedence over every thing else.
Everybody in this world has been generalized into different categories and so the particulars of a person are no longer important. So yes, it really doesn’t matter how hard you have worked on your behavioral and social skills, how much money you have or anything. What matters is which community, which area or which nation you belong to? What matters is the historical evidence against your race!

My set of stereotypes has formed based on the intricate relationships with these communities.
So here goes, the place where I was born, people are “the intelligentsia”. They eat, drink and sleep on literature, culture, the history. Food is the next important thing and rest everything is purely incidental. The petty problems of infrastructure, jobs etc are something that is too beneath the universe they live in.
Next goes the place where I grew up. The people are laid back and cool. Probably it is to counter the extremely hot weather but whatever it is, there are very few things under the sun which can stir them up.
Last but not the least is the place where I got married. These people, trust me, are the true daredevils. They dare…..and the others think of them as the devils.

But that’s where my success story with stereotyping stops. Growing up in a fairly cosmopolitan environment, I had a diverse group of friends. And each of them would contradict some or the other rules defined for their community. That did shake my belief in the whole concept of stereotyping. And I started thinking that a person’s thought process is defined by the upbringing and their attitude.

However, not everyone is as unlucky as me. While some could tell your actions, your motives, how trustworthy you are, how stingy you are based on your last name, religion or the region you were born in. Some might just need to see the color to decide all this and sometimes more about you. I think these people are lucky since when they meet a person with a certain mindset; they can understand the other person better. People who do not stereotype lose out on this advantage.

And the most unlucky ones are people like me, who are proven wrong each time they have stereotyped. But for some strange reason can not resist the temptation of predicting people’s behavior. My efforts to perfect this skill are going on with the husband often dreading to tell me anything other than the first name of a friend. The results have been mixed but I am continuing with my efforts.

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