World Born Blind: Society is incapable of eliminating prejudice, making the world an unfair, judged place

Take a minute to reflect, to remember all the people you have judged. Think of all the people who have been denied chances and opportunities because of the clothing they chose to wear, the size of their body, the features of their face or even the color of their skin.

People judge other people. That is just a fact; a fact of life that will continue to be true, not because people are eternally mean-spirited, but because of one simple ability, our ability of sight.

The world should have been born blind, for the purpose of eliminating prejudice. The ability of the human to see, combined with the learned response to compare ourselves to others creates a nasty effect of split second judgements. Alex Todorov, psychologist at Princeton University, found through recent research that peoples’ brains make judgements within one tenth of a second of first seeing another person. This response to judge based solely on sight limits our willingness to accept others.

It should not matter how fat or skinny someone is. Personalities, rather than appearance, should matter and be judged. People should want to make friends and know others who are empathetic, caring and passionate, not friends who have the prettiest hair and smallest stomach. In love and matrimony, appearances should not matter at all. Love is love and if a spouse just happens to be beautiful, it should be considered a bonus. Unfortunately, people marry more often based on looks than for true, unconditional love. If we really stop and think as a society, those who are closest to us and mean the most to us are not the most beautiful according to social expectations, but the people with the most valuable personalities.
When an individual judges another individual, only those two people are affected. The major issue comes when groups start to judge groups.

The classic example of this group judgement is the beginning of slavery. White travelers go to Africa, see the inhabitants with their dark skin and poor quality clothing and associate them with animals. These different people are taken advantage of as labor and property. Slavery was started because Africans looked different; they seemed subhuman and were forced into decades of abuse.

Stereotypes are also born from group judging. As a whole, members of society look at individuals and decide to lump them into a category with people of similar situations and are treated according to their social stereotype. For example, people see a young man with gold chains and baggy clothes and the word thug comes to mind. People would treat that same boy differently and expect a different behavior from him if he were wearing a polo and khaki shorts.

Whether individuals judge each other, or groups judge groups, seeing should not be believing. Appearances change, but people are who they are and should be judged based on who they are and not what they appear to be. People as a whole should strive to get past their primitive sense of sight and get to know people before passing judgement.