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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 544: Things That Surprise You

Today I saw something that surprised me: A young, attractive white man begging at an intersection that is better known for hosting black child beggars. Seeing this triggers the question "I wonder what he went through to end up there?" Now isn't it strange that you would never ask that question if you saw a black child begging there - you don't give a moment's notice or interest into what that child might have lived to end up begging at a busy intersection. You may even find that you feel pity for this attractive young man, especially if you're a woman. His face looks to you to be trustworthy, genuine and kind. He looks like the kind of man you would take home to meet your family. His particular situation of begging hardly detracts from this idea you have formed about him based simply on his appearance.

Seeing this man there makes you feel like he is out of place, like you would expect him to be working a decent job and being well on his way into starting a life for himself. Isn't it funny that all of this happens just because of the way a person looks? We see an attractive person and we assume that they are essentially "good". This has actually been verified in some studies, the results of which formed part of my education in obtaining my bachelor's degree in Psychology.

The same goes for wealthy people, we automatically assume that they are good, hard working people with no real evidence. This may be a large contributor to so many people getting ripped off over and over - we believe that we are dealing with people who care about us and will look after our interests with respect and consideration. The reality is that we don't know these people - we see a face or hear that someone is rich and we immediately believe we know everything there is to know about that person.

Here is an amusing example:

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/20/worlds_hottest_mugshot_is_most_depressing_meme_ever/

In a week that’s seen George Will dropped from a major outlet and Dov Charney canned from American Apparel, a week in which somebody finally called Dr. Oz on his BS and Scott Walker on his and the Redskins on theirs, one in which we became one state closer to sodomy for all, perhaps it was inevitable we’d be due for a cultural intellectual step backward. And his name is Jeremy Meeks.
To be fair, it’s not Jeremy Meeks’ fault. The 30-year-old California man was arrested Wednesday and is currently facing five weapons charges and one gang charge. He’s also now a viral star thanks to that SCORCHING HOT mug shot the Stockton Police Department posted Wednesday. It was supposed to be just an update on its Weston Ranch “Operation Ceasefire enforcement mission,” a notification of four felony arrests and four confiscated firearms. But come on. Look at those dreamy blue eyes. Those pillowy lips. That teardrop tattoo.  The whole Hey Girl tilt of his head. He’s everything you’d want in a in a convicted felon. Operation Ceasefire? More like Operation Panty Drop, MIRITE? Before long, the Stockton Police Facebook page was stampeded with traffic, and Meeks and his mug shot had joined the ranks of the Old Spice Man and Ridiculously Photogenic Guy in the sexiest meme Hall of Fame. - Salon

None of the women fawning over him know him - he is probably not a very nice person in reality, but because he has a pretty face every woman wants to bang him. Same thing with famous people - we look to these people as our shimmering idols to whom we must mold our own image and set of ideals. The reality often paints a much different picture.

Why do we continue to fall for these mind tricks? When will we realise that we are being played and that we are losing everything in the process. We are losing our individuality, our ability to think and investigate objectively and even our ability to think for ourselves.

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