Let one man step out of the regular thought or the known and trusted pattern, and the nerves of the townspeople ring with nervousness and communication travels over the nerve lines of the town.-The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Society, like the quote above, is like a network or so people seem to consider it. Automatically, there is a considered way for how things should be.
When people’s identities don’t coincide with the default, people are (and I actually didn’t fully understand it until now) genuinely afraid of those that are different.
They now no longer know how to define you. They do not understand; and are trying to compartmentalize you into boxes. The brain is constantly trying to make connections with what it knows. So, when it comes upon something to which it cannot connect to anything. It gets overwhelmed. This leads to this bigoted individual being confused, frustrated and eventually consumed by their ire–which leads to hatred or resentment of the different individual.
That is the beauty of neuroplasticity, though. The brain can be retrained into accepting and loving despite not completely understanding another. Why do people confuse genuine nonconformists with people who are born with things they cannot change? Why do people seem to demand that you conform or they hate, murder, and discriminate? What is wrong with being a heretic? I’m actually not talking about the religious denotation; but the definition of one that holds an opinion other than what is generally accepted.
Who’s a heretic now?
Am I making sense?
How can you make it stick
Waiting ’til the beat comes out
Who’s a heretic now, child
Can you make it stick, now
And I’m on a trial
Waiting till the beat comes out—
(Which Witch by Florence And The Machine, aka song I’m listening to as I write this)
Although I understand the science of why people are cruel to minorities. I just hate that as much social justice we do…that there are still people that refuse to treat diverse individuals with the respect they are entitled to. Whether you are aware of the concept of neuroplasticity or not, you can still attempt to have empathy instead of the relentless microaggressions. Microaggressions (in case you aren’t experiencing them–lucky–or weren’t aware) are slight everyday negative messages you send to someone by intentionally, or not so treating them as less than because of the marginalized groups they are included in. For example: race, sexuality, gender, religion, nationality, etc.
People preach to children about being themselves and being special. But then when the child grows to think separate of the default—people hiss and attack like vipers. It’s as if this society is so desperate to control and have one mind that some cannot appreciate the beauty of differences.
My inspiration for this post was me being fed up (yet again) with the years of microaggressions. What do you think about the poor treatment of minorities and why? What do you think we can do to improve the quality of life for people betrayed by their own kind?