We all know what a tree is, right? A quick search for images of "trees" yields THIS. Wait! What? How can trees be so different?
We all know what a dog is, right? A quick search for images of "dogs" yields THIS. Wait! What? How can dogs be so different?
Any guesses what happens when we search for images of humans? How about Buddhists ... or Americans ... or Methodists ... or Democrats ... or Bosses ... or ?????
The vast differences we see are reflected in the images, alone. Imagine the uniqueness of each if we were to also consider their smell, dispositions, voices, intellects, personalities.
The filters we use come with MUCH prejudicial baggage. When we choose to focus on the collective assumptions implied by those filters, instead of trying to understand and engage with each other as individuals, problems and misunderstandings assuredly follow.
When I can see you as YOU, not as a representative of a bunch of other ___?'s___, the opportunity for mutual understanding and meaningful engagement is greatly improved.
"Drop the filter and step away from the..." (Computer? Meeting? Microphone? Decision?)