Open your mind

No one is born being racist. No one is born with prejudices, stereotypes and hatred.

Unfortunately, these are all learned behavior patterns. These patterns are learned in our families, from teachers, friends, the media. In other words, we learn them through socialization. Also, parents, friends, the media play an important role in teaching values. If our parents talk respectfully about the others, there is a great chance that our own values will reflect respect for the others. However, it also somehow goes with human nature to categorize people. It is our way of making a complex world simpler. From an early age we learn to place people and objects into categories. As we grow older, under the influence of society, our level of categorization often increases. But since we are growing into mature women and men we also develop the idea of free will and choice. Therefore, all these learned behavior patterns can be unlearned and changed.

Leaving our comfort zones, exposing ourselves to people of different races, engaging in dialogue with them, trying new things, learning new sports, taking different courses help us to change these patterns and open our mind.

Traveling is one of the best ways to open your mind. Embracing new cultures will not only open your mind but also broaden your world view and teach you the whole new meaning of life.

As we gain more awareness and knowledge about different cultural groups, not only will our stereotypes lessen, but we will also become able to educate and challenge others about their prejudices, stereotypes, hatred, racism. As we change ourselves, we can also influence others to do the same.

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