To Know Someone

Opinions…they’re like noses, everyone’s got one or so the old saying goes and it seems that one could extend that to say – opinions about others, everyone’s got one.

I should say up front that this post is not based on anything going on in my life. I say this because when I post things like this I often learn that people assume it is based on something specific…it is not…just observations that have percolated for years.

People have very specific opinions about other people and I find it interesting that sometimes they have very specific and pointed opinions about people they don`t actually know.

For instance I have heard the following on many occasions:

“_________ ___________ is a complete idiot/jerk/ass etc”

The blanks can be anyone and include but are not limited to Stephen Harper, Pierre Trudeau, Barack Obama, George Bush, Pope Benedict, Christopher Hitchens, my neighbour, etc.

I often wonder – how well do I need to know someone to be able to cast such judgement? Seriously…I am not even sure I know my own family members enough to call them idiots or morons etc. so how in the world could I call someone I have not even met an idiot based on headlines, gossip etc?

More pointedly why is it so important to make such specific character judgments? What is it within us that makes it so critical to categorize someone as good or evil? Is it because we no longer have to think about them anymore after this? We can simply open the file on So and So and see that this person is, in our estimation an idiot or a saint and apply such a designation to whatever decision they make and move on.

I think it might be this – it might be laziness. We would rather assume something then be left in the place of maybe this person is a decent human being who is simply not in the same place as me…or possibly maybe this person is a horrible human being who happens to agree with me. These are each possible. I am guilty of this and I find the whole paradigm makes me sad.

Just some thoughts.

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