Sunday, November 2, 2014

You Are a Person, Not a Stereotype

People are more relax and joyful when they allow their individual personality to come out, not when they conform to popular images. Men who believe they must act tough and women who believe they must act soft are boxed into a set of expectations that have nothing to do with who they are.

Take for example, during my grandmother’s funeral, generality I observed that most women crying and men stand still with emotionless faces. Men have been taught to be tough, not to reveal their emotions. Women on the other hand, have been taught to be more open, more expressive. I read a studies that says with both physical and emotional pain, men are much less likely than women to reveal their discomfort.

It is important to remember, though, that not all of us fit those social expectations. I think, a man who wants to cry at a funeral for example, but stops himself because he is been taught to be tough is not really being tough. He is pretending to be what he thinks people expect of him. A woman who forces herself to open up in front of others but who would rather act more reserved is not a nicer person for showing her emotions and will not be happier for having to act in the way that is unnatural to her.

When I sing worship songs during church service or read the passion of Christ in the Scripture, sometime I would burst to tear. When friends share about their stories, I feel their pain. When people make fun of Jesus and His Word, I will be angry. I used to think that being tough is being emotionless guy. But most of the time I tend to fall into that state. I need to learn to be more like Jesus. I’m still learning now. Jesus cried, Jesus angered and Jesus was moved with compassion. He is the Man of men, don’t you think we ought to follow the person of Jesus as our example of personality too? I think we should.

You have to act the way you think appropriate with self-control, not the way you think the average man or woman supposed to act. Our generalisations about men and women are often false and too often damaging. You are a person, not a stereotype. To be a person that God want you to be, it is not found in connection of how well men and women should fit into gender stereotypes of femininity and masculinity, but in connection with our personal relationship with God. In the end, that is all matter in life.


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