22 Jul Stereotypes and PC
We live in the age of being politically correct – PC for short. One of the understood rules of being PC is not to stereotype people. Each person is an individual with a unique character. The worn out axiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a good rule to guide our social behavior. However, there is another side to the issue. Stereotypes develop because the people in certain groups do copy each other. We learn our speech patterns, manners and behaviors from the people around us. Native Bostonians have a particular sound as do Mainers, Canadians, and people from the Great Lakes Region.
Marketers are successful if they pay attention to demographics. If you watch the 6:30 evening news on any one of the major networks, you have to notice that most of the commercials are aimed at older people. One medicine after another is hawked for its potency. These ads are mixed with a few spots by investment companies telling us how to prepare for retirement. I doubt if these are the ads that run on the Disney Channel.
It’s true that each of us comes with cultural luggage and we should celebrate it. It is important to belong and not be alone. We live in a land that celebrates individuality. That’s great. However, no one exists in a vacuum. We can only be successful if we acknowledge that we build on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. There is no such thing as a self-made person. That is a myth that plays to our pride. Now that I have said this I have to admit that I grew up singing the song Dare to Be a Daniel. Some of the words of which are “Dare to stand alone.”
Written by Roger Bothwell on May 16, 2012
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574