Leap Year Lesson #327: Don’t Pre-Judge

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Relationships
Tags: , , , ,

Last night I spent some time at my son Brian’s home with his roommates and some of their family.  It was my first time meeting the others except for Brian’s dog Jaina.

His roommates have a white pit bull named Roxy similar to the one shown here.  I’ve never been around pit bulls before.  My only exposure has been from occasional newscasts that tell about maulings and problems with them.  I didn’t know before arriving at the house that they had a pit bull and I’m glad I didn’t.  It might have tainted my initial experience with her.

Roxy is 6.5 years old and among the friendliest dogs I’ve ever met.  My dog, Callie, loves to lick on us more than any dog I’ve ever owned.  She and Roxy must be kindred spirits because Roxy wanted to do the same, getting up on the sofa between Linda and me, going back and forth between us as to who got the kisses and eventually laying down to cuddle up with us.  She really was remarkable.

Not having prior experience with pit bulls, I had to ask what breed she was and was a bit surprised to hear.  She doesn’t fit the mold cast by the occasional news story.

What if I’d known going in that she was a pit bull?  Would I have treated her any different?  Would I have been more standoffish?  Probably, at least until I got to know her.

Isn’t that the way it is with pre-judging others?  Pre-judging is what prejudice is all about and it isn’t always founded on reasonable grounds.  Yes, there are pit bulls trained for fighting and raised to be mean, but that isn’t the full picture of the breed.  Yes, there are other people of different nationalities, race, religion and a host of backgrounds – some of which have done bad things to you or those you care about.  But those instances don’t necessarily describe the majority.  You have to get to know people (and animals) on a personal basis to know the truth about them.  It helps if you don’t make too many assumptions going in.

Leap year lesson #327 is Don’t pre-judge.

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