#643 - I Am Prejudiced
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, I am prejudiced. I assume everyone who belongs to a group has certain set of characteristics. I believe all members of the group have the same skills, education, economic status, aspirations, beliefs, values, and priorities. I refuse to consider the uniqueness of individuals. This prejudice is intensified when I believe the characteristics of the group are bad. I presume every individual in that group is also bad. I pre-judge someone because they belong to that group. They belong to the group and that's the only evidence I need. I consider myself to be the prosecutor, the jury, and the judge. I burn cars and loot stores to punish every member of the group because I presume to know how every one of them thinks. Father, prejudice happens when I fail to research and validate my assertions about people. Prejudice happens when my desire to judge others overrides my instinct for truth, justice, compassion, and mercy. Prejudice happens when I believe I am my own god and, therefore, my spontaneous emotions and their calls to action are automatically correct. Father, to fight the tendency to be prejudiced requires that one first admit their own limitations. We are not God. We do not have all the facts. We do not see every point of view. We haven't been observing the entire lives of the people involved. We aren't aware of Your plans and intentions in this situation. We do not have Your wisdom to analyze the facts and come to the right conclusion. We must admit that every individual is different. No two people think or feel the same. No two people have the same motivations or intentions. No two people have had the same experiences. Individuals need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Every life is unique and special to You. Father, drive out prejudice from my heart. May I look at every person as an individual and not as a member of a group. May I not take the lazy way out and avoid getting to know a person as an individual. Amen.
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