Prejudgement and Prejudice

One day I hope neither of these words have a reason to exist!

This is a topic that I feel very strongly about but am not going to pretend that I haven’t also been guilty of them too in the past. In fact it is only by having fallen into that trap of the pre-judging, prejudicial approach to life myself and also been on the receiving end of it, that I can actually write with honesty and insight from both perspectives, which I will attempt to do here. Without rambling to much — but it is a huge topic.

All pre-judgements are mistaken beliefs about some other when you haven’t even bothered to get to know them properly in the first place. Once the prejudgement becomes locked into place in your mind it then becomes a prejudice which is far more unshakeable.

The kinds of people who fall into the receiving end of this general human behaviour are: all women, men and women of any colour — depending on where you are in the world, physically or mentally disabled, mentally ill, cognitively disadvantaged, sexually diverse, gender conflicted, male, female, androgen, poor, addicted, younger adult, teen, older adult or elderly.

I have felt fear walking down a predominantly black street in this country where I live and was born, a fear which I do not feel with people of the same colour in their own country, in Africa. I am not afraid of black people but I am afraid of their anger at how they are mistreated collectively and my fear that they see me as a perpetrator, which I am by default as a white person…



Sylvia Clare MSc. Psychol, mindfulness teacher

mindfulness essayist, poet, advocate for mental health and compassionate living, author of ‘No Visible Injuries’, ‘Living Well and Loving ADHD’ and many others