Rethinking His Religion

So, for the first news story – and the one that inspired me to start this blog, I have chosen “Rethinking His Religion,” which was published in the New York Times on March 24th. To read the article, go to:

This is an article which really calls into question the assumptions we make about people. It is such a natural human tendancy to make snap judgements, especially about people. But so frequently, these judgements can turn out to be completely wrong. And we can easily miss out on connecting with a person who could have taught us something profound or touched our lives in some very personal way by not second-guessing these assumptions.

I know that all of us have experienced this at one time or another – meeting a person who helped us see the world in a whole new way or who made us question our assumptions. I always have to smile when that happens and think that I have just been given a reminder not to jump to conclusions.

One example I remember well, was in 1996. I was working at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. A woman who is now a wonderful friend of mine came into the office to apply for a graduate-level internship. She was (and still is) beautiful, with long flowing model-like blond hair and high heels. She was very well dressed and may have even had a manicure. Immediately, I thought “That canNOT be a feminist.” And I know she had some assumptions about me when we first met as well. It turns out that, not only is she an ardent feminist, but she is one of the smartest, funniest, most thoughtful people I know. I have been lucky to have her in my life and would have missed out on this friendship if I had not looked beyond my initial assumptions.

This article is also about one person’s personal evolution through his exposure to a broader world. For me, this is a story of a person who was willing to question his assumptions about himself and about the things he believed when he was young. It takes a strong person to be willing to do that.

What does this article bring up for you? When have you been forced to rethink your judgements and assumptions? And what kind of personal evolutions have you and your friends experienced that changed your perspective and fundamental beliefs?


Filed under Stereotypes

2 responses to “Rethinking His Religion

  1. Jennifer, I was taking a peek back at some earlier posts before I started following you, so I thought I would start at the beginning. I like this. Where I live and how I look, people expect me to be this very conservative person. So, when I don’t turn out to be such, it is disarming. Like you, I get tickled when I am surprised by people based on our initial biases which we all have. This makes life effervescent. Thanks for starting your blog. You bring joy, knowledge and reflection to many.

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