Stereotype, an overly generalized idea regarding an object. Stereotypes usually exist in all societies and cultures of the world. It is the general human nature to believe what we hear from the crowd without digging in for the truth. Stereotypes generally have more negative impacts associated to it than positive ones.
Being a Pakistani, I have come across a lot of such stereotypes which have led to various absurd perceptions amongst people regarding one another. Perceptions regarding a specific color, a specific city, a specific cast of people, people related to a profession, a specific race etc.
Recently Pakistan got done with its general elections 2018. There were a lot of different discussions and debates going on before the elections. To my surprise, some people had such obnoxious ideas as to why they would never want to support a particular individual or group because they belong to a particular region of the country! And the dilemma of this situation is that the political leaderships use this conventional thinking for their own benefit without realizing the damage it causes to the already perishing unity and peace of this country.
Apart from political situation, these very clichés affect every individual, every day, everywhere and in every walk of life. Without considering the actual reality of a human being, he/she is denounced on the basis of race, background, color. Being a working woman, I have come across various absurd perceptions, from both men and women of our society, related to choices a working woman makes, perception about her love for freedom, being in conversation with men, how she would not prove to be a good wife nor a good mother. I have seen people judge a man, making a good earning, that it has to be the “haram ki kamai” or corruption or mere luck. We always tend to support the popular narrative, without knowing the struggle s of that person. People suffer from rejection when it comes to marriage, due to stereotypes circulating in our society. Such conventional ideas about each other penetrate so deep into our minds that they completely damage our ability to think beyond this thick cloud of delusions.
This entire situation led me to think as to why we have become so shallow towards each other. Hating on each other. Not being Pakistanis, rather divided into Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi, Pakhtoon etc. Most of us have never travelled nor visited other regions of Pakistan. Never tried to look or think beyond this wall-of-notions that we have created around us. Hence we never experienced it ourselves. It’s all just a perception. The stereotype!
Though the millennia’s are considered much advanced in their intellect f or the reason of easy access to giants of information, yet these ancient stereotypes don’t seem to fade in modern cultures too. The reason being these perceptions keep on passing from one generation to another maintaining the impact.
I always hear people motivating masses on social platforms to stand up for a cause. To think like a nation. To come forward and work together. Which forced me to think are we really a nation? Or just a collection of people? Hating our people, other regions of Pakistan won’t make us a nation. If we do not know how to break these stereotypes, we will continue to be divided into our small groups.
To resolve our issues, we have to become a nation in its true sense. To be able to think beyond individuality and for that we need to break these stereotypes and free our brain to think progressively in search of truth. Simply we need to accept each other more!