Monday, October 10, 2011

#43 - Preconceived Notions

Remember when you were in school (for some that may be a hard task), and there were certain teachers who had "reputations" (no, not that kind of reputation) for being really strict or tough or mean.  And then when the dreaded first day of school arrived (dreaded only in the sense that you didn't know who your teacher was going to be, because some of us actually liked school), you waited with baited breath as the principal announced the teacher and began calling the names of the kids in the class.  Well, this was how it was done in my Catholic grammar school in NY.  And I, like all the other kids, didn't want to be in a certain teacher's class, based on the rumors passed down from the previous year's class. Some times those rumors were the truth, as in Sr. Grace Agnes' class -"Miss Buckley, wipe that smirk off your face or I will do it for you", and some times they were not even close, as in Mrs. Keuling's 3rd grade class (she turned out to be my favorite teacher).  Anyhow, those types of preconceived notions seemed to follow some people into adulthood.  From things like the neighborhood where a person lives - oh, you live in the armpit of the world then you must be a person of low class; to hearing a certain priest is being assigned to your parish (oh no, he is the spawn of Satan & was awful at his previous parish); to assuming stereotypical things about a person based on their ethnic background - oh, he's Jewish, he's cheap.  The definition of the word "preconceived" is: an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth, so before we "decide" something about a person, place or thing, perhaps it would be wiser to wait and see the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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