In my second book, subtitled, Helping Children Overcome Prejudice (publisher’s subtitle, not mine), I wrote about a herd of dinosaurs that learned to accept outwardly different dinosaurs into their herd.  With the benefit of some reflection, I have come to think that although prejudice is by no means a virtue, it is only when coupled with arrogance that it is truly a danger.  A dear departed friend extolled the virtue of “taking a second look” at a person beyond our first, or even lasting, impression.  It is only through such a second look that we can truly overcome prejudice.

One could argue that the human animal was somewhat programmed for prejudice.  We evolved in a predator-filled environment in which snap decisions and action may have actually been an evolutionary advantage.  Now we have perhaps evolved to the point where open minds and flexible thinking is the far greater advantage.  In my immediate past blog, I described an encounter on a subway in which my own prejudices were dramatically overturned by a second look.  It may be that we will never truly stamp out prejudice, but perhaps a dose of rationale thought and humility with which we can quickly discard our prejudicial presumption is good enough.  Think of any person or organization that perpetuates hate and prejudice.  You are sure to find a thoughtless creature that couples its prejudice with a mind of arrogant inflexibility – no second look there.  Absent arrogance, prejudice cannot really take hold.

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