I recently viewed a house with an estate agent friend and kept hearing how amazing this house was because the woman who owns it has 5 children.
Now as a mother of 7 of my own children there are three things that were very wrong in that statement….
The first was that all mothers of many liked the same thing!
That all children are the same.
That big families fit a certain mould.
As, I swallowed my need to interject I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt …after all I was sure it was a sales technique to make me feel like I should automatically bond with the house.
Omg! How was this a house for every mother of many?
None the less we arrived at the house and I was horrified.
Aside from being increadibly run down with no cupboards ( how did a mother of 5 live without hiding everything in cupboards to keep the house neat?) It was messy!
Now, I may be the mom of many but I hate mess. I can’t stand clutter and we live with an increadibly minimalist feel to our home because of this.
The house was cluttered, busy and unbelievably messy. The poor dogs were everywhere and I dodged landmines of dog sh*te just viewing a yard.
The inside was spacious but not comfortably and would never suit us as a family. But here the point of many kids was brought up again.
As we left, after I politely informed the agent I really disliked the house, I started to replay a lot of the prejudice I’d heard throughout the short viewing of this house.
Many topics from the size of my family to our financial situation and I realised this was not a first ….
This was not the first time someone had made an assumption on me, my life or my choices on their own preconceived ideas, comfort zones, prejudices or ignorance.
Society dictates and we follow
Many times we grow up in homes that set our values, morals, comfort zones and thinking patterns.
Generations of prejudice filter down in silent daily messages like :
” Don’t hang out with Bob his mother is a ….”
” You can’t go to that party it’s not the right part of town”
” How could you buy that brand and not this one?”
” Good men/ woman don’t….”
” All men will ….”
” we don’t. …”
Whilst a lot of parental advice is to keep us safe or stop us from accidentally getting ourselves into situations they know will be hard for us to navigate, there are also many conversations and view points that set the standard and blinkers onto our adult lives.
Society moulds us in this manner.
What if we don’t fit the mould?
We are conditioned to grow a certain way, at a certain time and achieve just the right amount of goals to make us successful.
But successful to whom? And at whose standards?
What if we don’t follow the mould or achieve in time? What if we change the rules and do things differently?
Well, society teaches us to dislike these people. We call them rebels . We turn our backs and we start to break them down, verbally with our own preconceived prejudices.
Why is the general population afraid of those who do not look like them, sound like them, dress like them or live like them?
You see we are taught to help the homeless but not to talk to them.
We are taught to feed and clothe the poor but not to ask how we can really help.
We are taught to lable, brand and generalise people into boxes but not to be respectful of those who do not fit that box.
We are taught to have patience with our families but not to teach them tolerance.
We are taught to not laugh at the disabled but not include them.
We are taught to hate people whose skin differs to ours but not to get to know them enough to love them.
In our ignorance we fill our minds with a multitude of prejudices.
We don’t open ourselves to learn more about people who do not look like us or act like us. We do not truly emphasize or understand their lifestyles or choices.
We are not tolerant of their differences and we do not respect that their views, opinions or life choices which may differ from ours are not wrong just because they do not look like our own.
So like that estate agent , who most likely was just trying to make a sale but communicated his thoughts ignorantly we too, are guilty of very often ignorantly hurting the feelings of others.