Saturday, 23 February 2013

I am prejudiced

A few days ago I spent the morning at an old lady’s house waiting for the doctor to make a house-call.

Eventually the door bell rang and standing there was a young man in his late twenties wearing yellow jeans, a tartan style red shirt with no tie, and a sports jacket.

“I’m doctor Grange,” said he.

I let him in without a word and the old lady said: “You’re not Doctor Stuart; he’s my doctor you know!”

“Doctor Stuart is away, I’m new with the medical practice,” replied the young man as I left the room to give them some privacy.

As I waited in the hall I thought about this young man and, I must confess, I took an instant dislike to him. A doctor in jeans, indeed! And so young, what can he possibly know about medicine; he’s probably hardly ever practiced, still in diapers and just out of school.

Then it occurred to me. A light bulb switched on within my head and a message flashed in huge letters.

What a terrible thing prejudice is.
Just because he is young doesn’t make him a bad doctor. He’s probably the best qualified from his University and since he must have recently entered into practice his knowledge must be really up to date. Unlike an older doctor perhaps. (More prejudice.)

And so what if he’s wearing jeans? He’s probably off-duty and was advised by his practice to visit this old lady in the absence of her regular doctor. He obviously doesn’t attend work dressed like that.

You know, it’s human nature to be prejudiced. We all have our likes and dislikes and we react differently to peoples’ appearances, attire, age, accents, and the multitude of other feelings we have towards each other.

We’d do well to be aware of this part of our human nature and learn to keep it under control.

When Jesus walked this earth, He must have met many poor people whose clothes were dirty and torn. Lepers too, as well as prostitutes and evil-doers of all kinds. He didn’t use our prejudices in order to avoid them and judge them.

Instead, He used pity, compassion and love to help them to a better life.

Afew days later I had reason to take the same elderly lady to the doctor's; and I met Doctor Grange again.

Although it was a fairly warm day, Doctor Grange wore a suit and tie.

However, he had not aged much since the previous Wednesday.

I'll keep an eye on him to ensure he remedies the situation.

17 comments:

  1. It's so easy to be tempted by pride, don't you think? Sometimes, I look at my children at Mass and I realise we've run out of the house looking like ragamuffins. One child will be wearing torn jeans (despite all my lectures!), someone else will have a dirty face and someone's hair will look like it's got a bird nest in it. Then, I worry that people will see that we're not the lovely family they thought we were:-] That's when I realise that we never were the perfect family they thought we were. It's probably good for our humility that they see our imperfections and we'll try to set a better example, next time.

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  2. Still, can't edit properly on my iPad:-/

    God bless, Victor:-)

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    1. Amazing isn't it when children embarrass us. Especially when they talk loudly in church, in a doctor's waiting room, or such like.

      "Dad, why has this man got a big nose? Did he tell a lie?"

      God bless you Vicky.

      Delete
  3. Hi Victor,
    I've made snap judgments based on appearances like this before. Especially when I see people with purple hair(or any unusual color) and multiple piercings or when people dress like vampires, etc...
    I know better but sometimes it's still hard to overlook.
    Great post!

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    1. I often wonder why people multi-color their hair. And have piercings everywhere. Tatoos too. Why?

      God bless you Mary.

      Delete
  4. Excellent post, Victor. I struggle with prejudices, and it makes me very disappointed in myself. I would rather see others through God's eyes.

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    1. I suspect we all have un-explainable prejudices, Sarah. It's in our nature I suppose.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. Lovely post my dear! Prejudice starts small - probably where "to slight someone" comes from - because prejudice is pettiness grown huge and obscene on arrogance and insecurity.
    I have a pair of yellow jeans Victor, gulp!
    God bless you x

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    1. You're right Gigi. Prejudices start small.

      I don't mind yellow jeans ... really ... I don't!

      God bless you.

      Delete
  6. I'm trying to work on this are in my life. Prejudice comes natural to me, as with all of us, but the ministry I'm involved with is better served by keeping prejudice aside as much as possible.

    Blessings.

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    1. I suspect we all have our prejudices Jose. We should work hard on these areas in our lives.

      God bless.

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  7. stories ARE the best way to convey a message, especially humourous stories

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    1. I'm glad you liked this story Melanie.

      God bless.

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  8. You sure are right. We all have them, even if we dont like to admit it. As I was reading your post, I said to myself "I bet many church elders looked at Jesus and said 'how could he know what he is talking about ... he is so young! He has not studied as long as we have!"

    Good post as always.

    God Bless.

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    1. I never thought of that, Michael. The church elders must have seen Jesus as a young man trying to teach them what (they thought) they already knew.

      God bless you.

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  9. Hi Victor! This hits home for me...my younger brother is a doctor, and he still looks like an infant. He is almost happy for the gray hair starting to come in. He gets more than a few comments about his age from patients.

    I think we all struggle with preconceived notions and quick decisions about people. It's good that we can admit it. Now...the work begins!
    Thanks for the link to your post! And thank you for your communications. What fun :)
    Ceil

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    1. It's funny how we tend to equate youth with lack of experience or knowledge. I know it's just one of my prejudices.

      God bless you Ceil. Thank you for visiting me.

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