To the Editor:
In passing last week, the person that delivers our fresh produce from off Island told me how despicable it is that people who come to pick up free food are driving nice cars.
And me, being me, said, “The food pantry doesn’t discriminate need based on what vehicle a person drives.”
Stereotypes are the real misjudgments, as are people who jump to conclusions based on half stories.
Part of me wanted to say more, but getting back to my job as a volunteer felt more important. Still my heart sank as I felt the person hadn’t thought more about his comment, to see that there is always more than a visual perspective.
It is easy to be judgmental when using stereotypes. But the consequence of a single perspective is how it robs people of dignity, because it makes our recognition of all humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.
Stories matter, many stories have been used to possess and malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a person, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.