Working at Dutch Bros is a place where we thrive off loving custies and making everyone feel like the matter or belong on this earth. I’d like to believe I am accepting of all and never judge a book by its cover. Yesterday at work a regular named Mike came through the stand. When he first pulled up, he was so carefree, smiling, and so happy I thought. I greeted him with my usual “Hi, how’s your day going?” off the first appearance of his clothes, the old 2 truck, and the slightly gray stubble in his beard he looked to live an average life making a little bit over minimum wage.
After talking with Mike for a little another co-worker who was close to Mike started talking with him about his life and that’s when he started crying. He talked about how his wife was a drink mess again who disappeared and pawned all his personal belongings like his old vinyl’s, baseball cars, and stole all his money putting him in debt. My heart was crushed. How could I have just assumed this man lived this completely separate life from his reality.
Mike had made me more aware of the preconceived thoughts I have on others before I even meet them. Having my guard up does not make me a bad person. I have empathy for others and need love like everyone else. Judging Mike based off his appearance has stuck with me forever. I am now more aware of the thoughts I have before even engaging in a conversation with others. Working at Dutch Bros makes it very easy to practice giving everyone the same amount of time and respect as the previous person. But, like Mike I have been in the same boat where others have formed an opinion about me without even talking to me just purely based off my looks.
People have assumed I’m mean because I dark eyebrows and people have assumed, I’m super happy because I work at Dutch Bros. Everyone is guilty at some point being prejudice to someone but is worthy everyone is deserving of love and respect. My interaction with Mike has stuck with me forever and I know to not judge a book by its cover again. Everyone has something going on in their life whether they make it public or not, I’ve become more familiarized with action of prejudice and feel it only stops growth in this society.
According to the Oxford Dictionary prejudice is “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”. People believing what is not real builds ignorance in a community which tears people part. Prejudice is the gateway to damaging growth in society. To make and connect new ideas exploration through different groups and making things that are “forgein”, more common. It’ll have a huge impact to new concepts instead of being stuck in this constant place of hate where prejudice is becoming more common and, in a way, normal. and inventions. Hurtful words forever stick with people but judging others off things they cannot change is just plain wrong. With growth in society hurtful and intentional racism, homophobia and violence.
The world doesn’t have one truth or reality. Society has grown accustom to judging others none other than the fact they are different from our own. Parents, peers, and the media are powerful tools for in teaching counter prejudice. Becoming familiarized with other people’s ways of living, speaking, and views will promote growth to the place where we want society to be at today. Socialization is the biggest agent in teaching values that counter to prejudice. Communicating with everyone can be so impactful in being aware of the way others live their life and learning what matters to others is beneficial to everyone’s growth. Confronting when the action happens is a direct approach to counter prejudice whether that be at work, school, with parents. Letting others know when something that was said was inappropriate or out of line could be so progressive. People need to know and acknowledge what is hurtful to others and the only way to do that is to call them out when it’s happening.
There are many ways to demolish prejudice in this society. The first step in people becoming less prejudice is understanding people are not born prejudice they learn from families, peers, teachers, and from the media. The same way we learn values and attitudes are learned is the same way prejudice is learned, through association, reinforcement, and modeling. Association is the child being affiliated with group different groups may that be ethnic, LGBTQ, etc. Reinforcement is the child being reinforced for telling derogatory jokes, feeling like others like them.
Modeling is simply the prejudice of their older family and popular friends. Parents are the biggest advocate for teaching prejudice simply by the child observing them speak about or interact with people in other groups. Typically, kids with the same social background tend to “gravitate” towards each other, in other words they look similar to them so its safer than being friends with someone that perceived as different. Changes on beliefs about outer groups will be supported by changed in social norms, that is unwritten rules of how to act, speak, look that are considered acceptable in a social setting. Social norms are so important to making long lasting changes in this society. When everyone starts accepting people who are perceived as different that will he considered the new social norm. Hating people for what they can’t change is never the answer and there’s no room for growth when people have a suborn mind.
People look at what society is but not what it can be, integration and acceptance is the how change happened in the past. For instance, desegregating buses in the United States was the first step in showing how prejudices can be conquered. Changes will happen if others allow for the progression of society. Everyone had to take part if change wants to be seen in everyday things like walking in a grocery store and not feeling like someone’s watching to see if you steal. Change must happen if girls get pink boys get blue stereotype wants to disappear. Change is the only way to see a new reality that society desperately needs.