Prejudice – A Warrior’s Duty
There is very little difference between one man and another;
But what little difference there is, is very important.
This distinction seems to me to go to the root of the matter.
Prejudice means an opinion which is formed beforehand given certain information. This is usually an unfavorable opinion. Most people, when they hear the word prejudice, think of the other definitions of prejudice, which is holding an ill-informed opinion or having an irrational dislike of somebody based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, etc. The word is also frequently used as a synonym for the word racist. As used in this blog post, prejudice means an opinion formed beforehand based on rational information.
Forming opinions from the information that you know to be correct is a must for the warrior. You have to be able to read people and to discertain certain traits about someone’s character. This is part of the warrior’s duty. It is part of protecting your friends, family, and those around you. Warriors have to be aware of people’s characters in order to avoid trouble or to be prepared for trouble in advance.
The superior man will prudently pick the community he will live within,
and will choose the proper people to associate with.
At one school that I taught in, I had a student who went to the principal and accused me of being prejudice. The principal called me in and “look into the situation.” He explained that this student had accused me of being prejudiced and he had to “take any such claim seriously.” After he got tired of hearing his own remarkable lack of intelligence on the subject, he went on to ask me what I had to say about it.
His jaw nearly hit the floor when I told him that “yeah, I am prejudiced.” The assistant principal, a man with a little more intelligence than our inept principal, was also in the room. He quickly jumped to my defense, thinking that I had just sealed my fate. He said, “Your not prejudiced Bohdi, you have done more than anyone else to help our Hispanic students!” In response, I said that I said I am prejudiced, not racist…there is a difference, at least by the definition that I am using for this discussion.
Confused, they asked me to explain. I went on to tell them that, yes, I am in fact prejudiced. I am prejudiced against gang members and drug dealers. I am prejudiced against rapists and murderers. I am prejudiced against child molesters and men who abuse their wives and kids. And yes, I am prejudiced against Juan, at least as long as he is dealing drugs and threatening my other students. I went on to say that my prejudice against this student’s actions has never affected his grades or schoolwork. I never heard another word about that incident from the principal, although when I left that school, the assistant principal wrote in his recommendation that I was the best teacher that they had in the school.
The point is that everyone is prejudice or at least you should be. The wise person will always want to form some opinion about certain other people before you allow them in your house or around your loved-ones. Don’t believe you are prejudiced? Okay, would you invited Charles Manson over to your house for dinner and give him a bed for the night? No?? Why not? You might answer because he is a psychotic killer and that would be stupid, and you would be right. But you have just shown me that you are prejudiced against psychotic killers. Everyone has some prejudice, in one form or another. Just make sure yours is just.
By nature, men are nearly alike;
By practice, they get to be wide apart.
You see, being prejudiced is not necessarily a bad thing. I am prejudiced against people of low character. I prefer not to associate with them. Drug dealers, pimps, gang members, criminals, and the like are not people that I care to associate with. Yes, this is being prejudiced, but my opinion is formed from information gathered from these people’s lifestyle and their actions…and it is a just and accurate judgment. Not only is my opinion just, but it is necessary to keep my family safe.
All men who live are alike at birth.
Diverse actions define their distinction and distinctiveness.
You should be selective about who you associate with on your journey. Associate with people of quality. This may sound elitist or snobby, but the fact is that the people whom you associate with play a huge part in your development in becoming the person you want to become. Also note that just because a person is someone who you don’t want to associate with, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat them with respect and manners. Be civil, be nice, be respectful, but also see someone’s character as it really is.
He who is wise never consorts with fools.
Ever associate with the good.
Associate not with the wicked man.
When I explained this philosophy to a friend of mine, she said, “Oh Bohdi, you’re not prejudiced, you’re just idiot intolerant.” LOL Well, I guess it is kind of the same thing. The bottom line here is that NOBODY should be judged according to the color of his skin or the origin of his birth, but by his character. Always look at a person’s character and form your opinions from that. The main way to discern someone’s character is by their actions. An apple tree does not produce cherries, and a man of character will not participate in dishonorable actions.
Behavior is the perpetual revealing of us.
What a man does, tells us what he is.