Whether we recognize it or not, each of us were born into a society that is riddled with judgement and pesky labels. Each day, we look at the billions of people around us and we being to categorize them. Their various races, gender identities, religions, sexualities, socioeconomic backgrounds and outward appearances all find tiny compartments within our brains and serve as the foundation upon which we build a house of judgement about their individual characters. Nobody, myself included, is exempt from this form of internalized and often unintentional prejudice. Our highly analytical brains have been hardwired from the moment of our birth to compartmentalize and categorize concepts and things in order to gain a better understanding of them, and people are no exception.
Undoing this habitual way of thinking can be extremely arduous, simply because most people do not even recognize that they are doing it. Before we even have a conversation with somebody, we have already constructed a false judgement of them based on the way they look, who they are hanging out with or what we've heard about them from other people. We each have so many interconnected identities, and to reduce another person to just one of their hundreds of identities would be extremely narrow minded. We often fail to recognize that when it comes to other people, there is almost always more to them than what first meets the eye. As individuals, we each are unique and have our own set of interests, aspirations, ideas and values that make us who we are. Each of these characteristics act as a piece of a huge puzzle that serves to create our individuality. We fail to truly know a person until we've seen the way all of their pieces interconnect- until we've seen the whole picture.
We are all complex people living in an extremely complex society where we are labeled and forced to fit certain mold before we even exit the womb. Don't let these labels define you. You are not an object to be categorized, and neither are others. Don't let yourself fall into the habit of reducing others down to just one of their identities simply because it is easier than going through the work of truly getting to know them. Going through life's tribulations and trials is difficult enough without the societal pressures added by judgement and labels. In short, I encourage you to "unwire" your brain- to stop seeing people as products of their outward characteristics and start seeing them for what they truly are: human beings.