Prejudice eats away at our heart and soul!

Thank you Dale Hansen, Sportscaster, WFAA-Dallas for your commentary on prejudice.

I have been so saddened and repulsed about the incidents occurring in Ferguson, Missouri and now in our own back yards of Flower Mound and McKinney.

The definition of prejudice is

Prejudice eats away at our heart and soul.  It is a learned behavior.  The definition is:  “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.”

I made a comment to a friend recently, “We have gone back in time 50 years to lose the ground that was claimed in Selma.”

I was raised in deep East Texas during the 50s where even today there is a saying, “The necks of some of the people are redder than the clay.”   I thank God that my family did not raise me that way–to be a prejudice person but to be accepting of others.

Last week having lunch with a lady in my networking group, somehow the subject came up about Chris/Caitlyn Jenner’s life choice.  We discussed some of the issues going on in our country right now with regard to discrimination, bias, judgments and perceptions of others.

I made the statement to her, “I don’t care if you are polka-dotted, pea-green-over-lavender, God made all of us.”

I don’t have to agree with or understand another person’s life style or choices. Everyone is a human being, deserving of love, compassion, and acceptance.

Why did I make this comment?  Because the Lord dictates to us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  It isn’t my job to judge them.  It simply is all of our jobs to treat one another as we would want to be treated.

We are all different in one way or another.  After all, God made us the way that we are.

As a child, I had my share of kids poking fun at me because of my red hair.  I can’t tell you how many times my classmates would say, “I’d rather be dead than red on the head.”  

I know to some people that statement might seem to be nothing more than childish teasing and would say that all kids tease each other for something. However, the tongue is stronger than a two-edge sword.  I could have easily taken those words to heart and developed a chip on my shoulder for life but I didn’t.

When God gave me a red-headed son, 49 years ago today, kids would often tease him about his red hair.  I would say, “Next time they say that to you, tell them they are just jealous because you have something they don’t have.”  I don’t know if he every retorted with this comment but I wanted him to understand that he was special.

In business we talk about the fact that you only have 5 seconds to make an impression on someone when you enter a room.  This is very true.  We make judgments based upon our own life experiences and prejudices.

Diversity embraces acceptance and respect.  In William Cowper’s poem, “The Task” (1785), he says: “Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.”

We absolutely must teach our children that it is not okay to ostracize someone because they are different.  Teach them instead that everyone is unique. Teach them that we are special in our own rights.

When we judge folks based upon who they are, what they stand for, what they believe, or for any reason, we dilute and diminish ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.”

I’m proud of the fact that I’m different and march to the beat of my own drum.  That is what makes my friends call me “Wild Woman!”

Peg Boot in Door


Peggy P. Edge (c) 2015