Refrain from narrow-minded thinking: educate yourself, others

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Refrain from narrow-minded thinking: educate yourself, others

Taylor Bullock, Staff Writer

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My hands are far from clean. I’m guilty and you’re guilty. Maybe not of a real crime, but our biases are nearly as bad. To be biased is to be in favor or against one thing, person or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we are all biased in one way or another.

Being biased is about as natural as breathing and it’s what we have in common with every other person walking this planet. You form an involuntary bias about everything and everyone you encounter. It’s simply a part of life and clearly inevitable.

I never thought much of my mistakes or my biases until about a year ago. I was the most judgmental person I knew and it wasn’t until my daughter was born that I realized that. The innocence that she was born with showed me a lot about how a person is not born with judgments. I’d look through my old social media posts and think “How could I possibly think such hateful thoughts?” But it was there, clear as day and there was no avoiding the truth: I was biased.

As I scrolled I’d see posts fat-shaming other women and girls, satire on world tragedies and even bashing of teen moms. I had been the very person I hate today. Every post was a glimpse of who I used to be and who I never want to be again. It made me sick to my stomach to know I carried so much hate on subjects I knew nothing about and to this day hardly know anything about.

The realization that I had such negative biases was the spark of a time of rebuilding. I began scrutinizing my life choices and building my knowledge about things I once spoke so negatively on.

Most of all, I was hung up on the way I brought down another teen mom because of my blatant ignorance. It drove me crazy thinking about the way my words could’ve hurt her. Though that was two years ago, I got the urge every day to reach out and apologize. It was almost as if I would explode if I didn’t get the chance to say I was sorry. So I did just that. I messaged her and regretfully explained my bias and where my opinion stands currently. She was completely understanding and accepting of my apology. It felt like the biggest weight lifted from my shoulders.

If you couldn’t tell I will explain: the message here is that you need to think before you speak and ponder before you post. Like I said, we’re all biased, but what you choose to publicly admit is a dangerous thing. Social media has been a great advantage for our world, but is sometimes used for some of the most hateful things. Do you really want to hurt somebody on purpose? Hopefully, your answer to that question is no. You’re entitled to your opinion, as am I, but that doesn’t mean you get to take your bias and throw it in another person’s face.

Think. Rethink. Speak. Post.

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