It's well known that prejudice cripples. It cripples the one it's aimed at, but it also keeps the one holding it in a small and imprisoned state of mind. This latter part is one we don't usually think of, and if we do, we don't tend to be very compassionate about it. But the thing is, it applies to every one of us.
It's easy to point the finger at "big" forms of prejudice, like racism, but each one of us has our own prejudices too. A prejudiced person is none other than someone with a preconceived judgment or opinion of someone else, and I believe all of us fall into that category. Think about it. We judge people for being less smart, less educated, less wealthy, less attractive, less healthy, less articulate....the list is endless. We judge people for not believing the same way we do. If you think that isn't you, I challenge you to think again. Maybe it isn't, but think about it anyway. It doesn't mean you think they're a bad person, just that your belief is more "true" than theirs - so what does that say about them? Those beliefs can be about anything - spirituality, medicine, sports...
I used to think that people who couldn't spell well were not intelligent. True story. That's because spelling was a big deal where I grew up, and so the educated people there were good spellers. That's all. But the thing is, by thinking that, I automatically closed my mind off to many, many people as I was growing up. It didn't mean I wasn't friends with bad spellers, but it meant that for years I never opened my mind to truly listen because I had already decided there wasn't much intelligence there. Doesn't that sound terrible? But we all do it. And it keeps us all small minded.
The more open minded we are, the more successful we are. Closed-mindedness keep us trapped in the same ways of thinking, and when we stay there our choices are fewer. Fewer choices means fewer opportunities. Fewer opportunities means more of the same. You get the idea.
What prejudices are keeping you small minded and closed to opportunity?