In such times as today, people are often reduced to a single story. Perhaps you've heard a few of these:
"Mexicans are rapists"
"Muslims are terrorists"
"She deserved it, look what she was wearing"
I think you get the point.
We are living in a day of snap judgment - we hear one story about someone and suddenly we have a singular understanding of that person, or culture, or country. [Insert name here], the girl who got pregnant in high school. [Insert name here], the man who was caught with drugs. [Insert name here], the alcoholic. Or as Chimamanda Adichie explains - Africa, the poor, war-torn country(!). Many of us can list off several people or people groups in our lives like this.
And think of yourself and what you've been through. I bet you can imagine what people might reduce you to. It may be based on your cultural background, your appearance, your education, your socioeconomic status, your race, your gender, your sexuality, your physical capabilities. I'd imagine you would agree that it is very painful to be reduced to a singular story based on these things.
Watch the video below to hear Chimamanda Adichie explain the danger of a single story.
...when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.
As Chimamanda Adichie says, singular stories are painful. To see another person as a multi-storied individual is to bring forth paradise. I can think of many times where I was quickly judgmental about somebody based on what I have heard about them. Upon meeting them, my ideas radically shifted as I realized there was so much more to that person.
So ask yourself this: