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Life is only what you wonder.

Monday, October 03, 2005

You Make It Happen

One of the most difficult things there is in this world to do is to look at someone and not make a value judgement about them.
By "value judgement" I mean a judgement of someone's "worth" strictly by what you see with your eyes.

We all have our little prejudices. Most of us try to overcome them, but even so, they're there.
Maybe it's heavyset or overweight people ("fatso"), maybe it's the elderly ("old geezer"), or small children ("little brats").
Some men are women-haters, some women are man-haters, some people have a dislike for one race or another. Anything someone can be (black, white, rich, poor, panhandler, thief, gay, straight, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief) is going to be disliked by somebody, somewhere.

I'm a gay white male, and if someone has a problem with that, then it's their problem, not mine. I can't do anything to change any of those things. Nor would I want to just to please someone else.
You don't like it, you can kiss my pale white butt.

Value judgements are particularly dangerous in my line of work, mostly due to the "self-fulfilling prophecy" aspect.

For those that don't know, a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to come true.

For example, if a party is seated at one of my tables and I look them over before appoaching the table and make a judgement about them ("Oh, it's a bunch of [inset value judgement here: elderly folks, teenagers, lesbians, Mormons, whatever], I probably won't get a good tip from them.")
The very second after I make my little judgement about those people, my actions from that point on are altered slightly, most of the time totally subconciously.
Maybe I'm not as attentive to them as I should be.
I might not smile as broadly.
I might, without even knowing I'm doing it, give them a nasty look or roll my eyes when they ask for more cream for their coffee.
I might wait for them to ask me for something insead of offering it, or (better yet) just bringing to the table.
They might notice that I'm not as attentive to them as I am my other guests.
They might sense a certain "standoffishness" in me.
Even if I try to "fake it", they could pick up on the fact that I'm being a big phoney.
The result of all of that? A lackluster tip.
Surprise! I just made my "prediction" come true.

I try never to judge people before I get to know them. (Afterwards is a totally different story.)
There are all kinds of people in this world of ours and there is room here for all of us.

SFP's are also desructive in quite another way.
If you're thinking ahead of time that someone won't like you, they very possibly won't. Not because you're not a likeable person, but because you're giving off a vibe (probably subconciously) that says either "I don't care if you like me or not" (passive) or "I don't like you either" (agressive).

Anyway, that's my thought for today.
Have a good one!