Whether we mean to or not, we put people in boxes, we can simplify people and the perils of human judgment are countless. We are coming to meet one another with different histories, prejudices, experiences. We have what we perceive as normal and abnormal , we also have our luggage filled with boxes neatly labeled in our trucks and everyone we encounter we label them and put them in our boxes but sometimes we have a mismatch and this affects or even ruin lives.

If we can look closely, we will see that a lot of us are fighting battles we have no business fighting because we have been labeled and shoved into boxes that we don’t even belong in.

You can’t always figure out or conclude on someone with just a glance .Stereotyping is wrong and acceptance is right…yea, yea! It’s obvious right? We see people continually trying to prove otherwise but we are not having any of it, we may even conclude such a person is pretending ,for instance not all women marry older men for money, not all men with earrings are not serious enough, and not all beautiful ones are dull or stupid. Despite the excuses, the point still remains that Human beings aren’t meant to live in boxes.

How do we put people in boxes?

It’s easier to relate with those we feel at ease around than those we don’t .We have those with many chapters ,those just starting their first chapters , those who are well to do, the haves and the have nots, those we have stuff to do with and others. We have the bullied and the bully, those who are madly in love, those who overcame great issues, the winners, those who beat cancer, and those who beat infertility. There is ‘us and them’, those we trust and those we avoid, the religious and the self-confident, the bush people and the civilized people. I am here typing away just because I want us to unbox each other. TAKE THEM OUT OF THESE BOXES AND YOU WILL SEE THAT WE HAVE MORE IN COMMON. WE HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER A D TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER, IF WE CAN ONLY LOOK CLOSER.

We may need to stop assigning labels to people based on their looks, their clothes, skin colors or sizes. WE CAN NEVER KNOW WHO SOMEBODY IS BASED ON THESE THINGS.

We have things like interests, values, experiences, personality in common; putting people in boxes is simply putting limits on our self and others. Naturally, we are drawn to people like us and repelled by certain types of people who seem unlike us.

I watched Game of Thrones ‘battle of Winterfell few days ago and I could see that many of the Characters came together despite their differences. They had one thing in common and that was Survival. They all wanted to live. The unboxed each other despite their guarded thoughts, the night king was destroyed.

Regardless of our ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, race, gender, age, we are more than the boxes we are put into. Whatever the box is, we are united by being human.

How do we undo this tendency to put people in boxes, since our brains are categorizing machines which is not bad, we need to categorize in order to survive , but this hardwiring betrays us sometimes, we turn a group of people into a monolith .social categorization is responsible for this move.

WHY DO WE PUT PEOPLE INTO A BOX?

Because we receive stereotypes from our parents, relatives, friends and the media we consume.

We are better able to remember things that confirm our biases rather than those that disprove them.

Most times we work with our assumptions.

What can be done?

We can rewire our hardwiring and fight our assumptions and entrenched biases.

Admission, lets recognize that we all have prejudice, first step stop yourself when you start categorizing another person. Apologize if possible.

Engage with people outside your clique; don’t associate these people with the stereotypes .until they prove you otherwise. We can align our paradigms.

Think about the situation surrounding a person rather than stereotypes you have lined up for them.

Fight your hardwiring it takes time and work as its deeply rooted in your culture and psychology.

Putting people in boxes

We have mind Boxes like beautiful girls are unintelligent, blacks don’t read, poor people are lazy, ladies like money, men are dogs, and blondes are stupid.

The game has even been stepped up with highly controversial stuff I wouldn’t want to mention on my page. I see a lot of people desperately trying to let go of these boxes, they are judgmental statements labeled freely based on some people’s past experiences and conditioning. Some are based on stuff they grew up with, stuff they heard from their parents or people around. They formed hardwired thoughts and ideologies and they move around with these unseen boxes. Are they aware? Most of us are not aware of this. I learnt a guy was blocked from going into a science class because of a ring on his nose, the guards felt he wasn’t looking ‘science student’ enough, the second guard wouldn’t allow him too, after a big deal he finally went in after some intervention and he ended up scoring the highest in the entire state.

As much as we are convinced enough to label, let’s try and give people The benefit of a doubt. We are diagnosing people with illnesses and concluding stuff about people. We are making people overly conscious when conversing, the undertones are glaring .We aren’t giving people more chances. Even when the beautiful girl proves us wrong with acing her exams in Harvard, the world still pushes her into the box it’s comfortable with.

Before you finally write off someone under a familiar thought, to start with, give the person a chance to prove that they are wrong. They are a lot of mismatched people facing a lot of pains from our wrong interpretation of them.

Many people have a lot of things they perceive of us and vice versa, some think you must be suffering from a type of sickness just because they haven’t seen your kind; there is a desperate rush to blend in and be normal, there is also a desperate urge to label people in boxes. Humans find it easy to relate by labeling people in their boxes, it’s well easier and when they don’t understand you they get angry, some of us are trying to force people though they are a mismatch.

The beauty in this is that we are all created in the image of God.

Do you know any other way of unboxing,kindly share.

Lets start unboxing right away …

Cheers ,

Mimes