Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Categorizing Others

"There is so much you don't know about a person.  I wonder if I could've made her days a little bit easier, if I'd tried.  If I'd treated her a little nicer.  Wasn't that the point of the book?  For women to realize, We are just two people.  Not that much separates us.  Not nearly as much as I'd thought."  -The Help, Kathryn Stockett, p. 492

We judge based on what we perceive, what we think we know.  We set boundaries based on these abstract concepts.  We separate others, group people and things where they "belong" in the categories that we create.  
Cheap.
Classy.
Smart.
Dirty.
Weak.
Sexy.
Executive.
Kind.
Blue collar.
Creative.
Rigid.
Annoying.
Compassionate.
Awkward.
Abrasive.
Humble.
Patriotic.
Proper.
Simple.
Mature.
Beautiful.

And the list goes on.  

But in doing so, we separate ourselves.  We think we belong in certain categories.  We draw invisible lines.

It's been a while since I've read a really good book (Modern Library's Top 100 Novels has had some let-downs), so I took a break from my reading list to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Someone had left the book (willingly) in our apartment mail room, so I picked it up (and will return it now that I've finished).  Nothing better than a good free book!  I can't speak for the movie, but if you haven't read the book, you must.  It really is excellent.



I challenge us all this week to remove one invisible line.    

When you read the above list of adjectives, what or who came to mind?  Why?  Is it fair to categorize them that way?  Where do you belong?

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