The Disadvantage of Generalizing Everything

Jan 30, 2016

Speaking generally, generalization is stupid. *oh the irony* It’s basically about judging something using a past fact.

However, the blame is not really on someone who likes to generalize, it’s the repeated information coming toward them which make them hardly see the alternative idea. Whereas, the beauty of things lays on its possibility to change its current conditions. To be a "rounded character" if we use literature term.

So today I see two policemen coming inside a food stall with cheap foods (warteg) as I ate my breakfast. My thought then flied to the lately viral meme about a police officer who couldn’t differentiate between no “stop” and no “parking”. It’s almost automatically associated with that.

I was generalizing, I knew, because not every policeman is like that. There are any good and smart police out there. Sadly this current image of police worsen the current imagery of policeman which have been associated with corruption and bad conducts.

But it’s not my fault, isn’t? I see that information everywhere.

Then it need to be said, I guess, that not all of “ibu-ibu naik motor” (the motorbike-riding moms) is like the image constructed by our internet community. Yes I’ve been experiencing myself the situation of you on the same lane with one of them. They are riding motorbike dangerously, though it can actually be understood since most probably they lack of experience.

So relax.

One day I met this mother who bothered herself sounding her motorbike horn in getting my attention. I thought she was my friend or something. She reminded me that my turn signal is flashing. Thanks to her that I then turned off it.

What a caring driver, I guess, if they have the same amount of time riding motorbike like we have.

Here is the bottom line: generalization is the idea of seeing your life, thinking that the current condition is permanent, while in fact we don’t really know what will happen tomorrow.

However, that kind of thought is a little bit dangerous as well because generalization actually protects us from heartbreak. It makes us aware of the pattern.

I believe every idea has a counter-idea. []


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