Although many of us pride ourselves on being accepting and tolerant of differences, we still subconsciously judge others in our everyday lives. We have been taught to categorize people based on how they look; we have been taught to generalize, to stereotype, to judge.
Making these initial judgements doesn’t mean that we are bad people, but simply that we are people nonetheless. In other words, it’s not our intrusive thoughts that make us who we are - it’s how we react to them.
Society has instilled in us a certain way of thinking, different from how we would naturally. Society has taught us to fear black men, to shame fat girls. It has taught us to condemn people who worship gods other than our own. It has taught us to avoid people look or think differently than ourselves. It has taught us to abide by its irrational rules, and not to question its absurdity.
It’s normal to make initial judgements. In fact, it’s impossible to stay completely unbiased. Solving the problem lies in how we respond to our own thoughts. Essentially, we need to question every judgement, and correct it in our minds. We need to ask ourselves, “Why am I thinking this, and is it true?”
Passivity will only lead to a deeper problem. Instead of ignoring our judgemental thoughts, we must acknowledge that we made a mistake. Admitting this - even to ourselves - is a significant stride of progress. By taking responsibility for our subconscious, we are correcting our prejudices.