We hear opinions based on who knows what
throughout life. Swedes are ……, French are ……,
salesmen are……, women are……, men are……,
Mexican food is……, cats are……, southerners are…….,
politicians are……, etc.
As a kid the opinions of our parents, teachers and
elders are likely to be accepted as truth. Beliefs are
formed based on an opinion that is entirely second
hand. Even if originally a joke. Contributing them to
conversations feels good. Nobody knows they are
borrowed. We can take ownership credit.
My father thought fish was disgusting. We never had
it at home. I was in my twenties and married before I
ate any. I did not like the way it looked and had to force
myself to taste it. I was surprised when it was good.
Xenophobia, or fear of foreigners is another example.
My time in foreign lands has shown more similarities
than differences. Most of the natives are friendly just
like at home. Xenophobia is fantasy not fact.
Some beliefs of long forgotten origin can stay with us
forever. A mental closet cleaning now and then is
Experience teaches that listening to others is fine, but
not final. I am not others. Keep both eyes and mind open.
Try the fish and shake hands with somebody new. You
may gain something good you have been missing.