Group paper

27 Mar

Oftentimes, as persons, we cannot avoid judging other people. We all have our first impressions and most of the time it is true. Most of us have probably experienced looking at an unfamiliar person who is, in a way, different from us. More often than not, we judge them in a negative way. We tend to make fun of these instances, label persons and we even assume their personalities.

We have a lot of prejudices and there are tons of examples to choose from. A typical one that we can all relate to is with our maids or kasambahay, our ates and manangs or household helper. In Chinese, they are often referred to as huanapos. These people are often judged as someone who is uneducated, probinsyana, low IQ, people who are only meant to do this kind of job. This judgement comes from us, their amos; thinking that we are superior compared to them maybe because of our material things, the way we think, how we act, the way we present ourselves. As a matter of fact, there’s not really a big difference as regards to who they are and who we are. We, their amos, are just more privileged than they are—to have the opportunity to study in good schools and to be able to live the life we live.

Our environment will also play its part for having that kind of judgement, we get to be influenced by people, be it our families or friends. Maybe in school, (remember those days when you’re still in grade school) you’ll be “in” if you share stories of your maids acting so dumb and all and you tell your friends how irritated you are if she doesn’t comply with your requests ASAP! It may come to us as a surprise at first once we realize that we are not all that different. Maybe it can change us and our perspectives of them once we know their position. If it weren’t for our curiosity, we still might have the impression that they, as our maids, are merely ‘pets’ or ‘slaves’ who are just there for us to order around and take advantage of. This impression leads us to treating them badly and not considering their feelings. They are just like us; it’s just that there may have been certain circumstances that have led them to have that life. They’re just misunderstood.

But what can we do about it? It’s their life not ours, so why care, why bother? It’s also with the person if he or she will make an effort to know a person better. If we will just stick to our judgement of that person and shut our opportunity to have a different view of them, chances are we just do this for ourselves; self presentation. We do this because this is what’s really happening. This is what makes us different from them but in a negative way. Maturity is also considered because as we grow and become more knowledgeable with the issues that come with prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, we learn its consequences, its effect with the people who are victims of it and it’s no joke of what it can do to them. We’ve known what happened in the past, like Hitler’s belief that his race is superior and it resulted to his intention to wipe off the race of the Jewish people. We must do our part also, to understand those people better. They also deserve to be respected, we all have the right to be.

The world is not perfect, we cannot erase these things. It’s part of life but sometimes we just have to take a stand and say what we have to say. Yes, it takes courage to raise such opinions and to be different among the views of others. It can be a joke sometimes but such small things can lead to bigger problems. From simple labelling of a person, it will turn to stereotyping then leading to prejudice which is also influenced by our surroundings which will then lead to discrimination. It may also cause negative psychological effects on the person we are stereotyping. We can make a difference and be the better person; it’s just up to us if we have the courage to do so.

Kahit Ano – Ang, Barles, Dejos, Villanueva

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