The Cost of Prejudice

Don’t we all think of ourselves as open-minded people? I am a person of very strong opinions. I come to those opinions with forethought and information, (usually). However, something has happened to me in recent weeks that have convinced me that I’m quite prejudiced in certain areas. (These illuminations have me concerned that there may be other creatures lurking under the stairway of my soul.)  For many years, I’ve believed that Stephen King is a man who is evil at his core and a creator of evil. All this, based on what I knew of his life, (which admittedly was not much,) and what I knew of his writing. I now have to look at myself differently because he is not all that I thought he was.  

I’ve been reading his book, On Writing and he is a man of deep devotion to his family and his craft. His writing is an expression, (like many of us who write,) of his life. He makes the comment in the book that he believes in God but has no use for organized religion. (I so get that!) I’m not saying that he is moral, saved, or holy. I’m simply saying that there is good where I pre-judged that there was only evil. I was wrong. One of my co-workers gave me a book called, Ghost Rider by Neil Peart. He is the drummer for the rock band Rush. I’ve been sure of their evil for a long time. Although I know nothing of their music really, they have pentagrams on their album artwork so that was enough for me to judge that whole scene as “of the enemy.” But as I’ve been reading his book about the healing of his soul following the loss of his daughter and his wife in the same year, I’ve come to face once again that my prejudice has robbed me of something. 

I’m never going to be a big fan of Rush, but what this man went through and the value of his journey on “the healing road” has touched me. My prejudice said that rock stars care about nothing except “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” But Peart is far more than the stereotype: a man of deep emotion, intelligence, knowledge of the world and people, a caring family man who has an amazing devotion to his friends. And while he clearly is not a believer, he is not an enemy of what is good in the world.  This article is not to sing the praises of these two that I judged wrongly. The trouble is that I often judge people based on what I think I know. In this, I am wrong. I hope you’re not like me, but if you catch yourself judging with your perceptions and half-@#$% knowledge, then let me encourage you to give things a closer look. Prejudice robs us of the good that is in others and the lessons we need to learn from them.  telemicus out

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