Stereotypes & Generalisations

Yesterday we flew from London Heathrow to Munich. A coach then took us to Kramsach, Austria. This is the view from our hotel balcony. The Austrian Alps are spectacular!

Marta, our Polish tour guide, met us at Munich Airport. She explained the difference between nationalities:

To get the French to do something say. ’It’s ‘en vogue’ – in fashion. To get the English to do something you say, ‘That’s what a lady or gentleman would do.’ To get Germans to do something you say ‘You must do it; it’s the rules.’ To get the Poles to do something you say: ‘You mustn’t do it!’

Following my musing on ‘patience’ yesterday Edwin quoted the old poem:

‘Patience is a virtue. Possess it if you can. Seldom found it women, but never in a man!’

Absurd stereotypes or generalisations are such nonsense that they make me smile. Dinner conversation last night included: all men’s memories… all women drivers…; all Americans… all Irish…

There’s a fine line between humorous stereotypes and generalisations, and hurtful destructive prejudice. It’s not so long ago that we read ‘All gay men get AIDS’; More recently we have seen trouble in America from those who say ‘All black people…’

A description of someone’s colour, sexuality, disability, gender, nationality or religion isn’t a crude defining label that lumps identical people together. Rather it’s one part of who they are that makes them individual and special.

Musing… Today I read Psalm 68. It describes God; ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows… God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing…’

The God I believe in is one who knows and treats all as individuals… who wants to build on my strengths, correct my faults, strengthen my weaknesses… This isn’t a one-size fits all; it’s bespoke care and provision.

We pray: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ God knows our needs.

I pray: ‘Give me today my daily bread.’ God knows my individual needs.

6 thoughts on “Stereotypes & Generalisations

  1. Reblogged this on Falling Staarz Poetry and commented:
    I’m grateful to have found Malcolm’s Musings. He’s a good teacher for those who have ears to hear, and I find his style reassuring. Hope you enjoy–please leave comments for him on his original post/blogsite, rather than on mine. Thank you.


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