-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
I've always had an issue with stereotypes. I knew they were based on some level of truth, but it still didn't sit quite well with me. When I came across the above quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's, Americanah a few years ago, it felt like my discomfort was finally affirmed.
Yes, stereotypes are true, but the dangerous thing about them is that they confine the conversation, our perception of a situation or story to a one-dimensional lens. Its an unfortunate but all too common trap that limits our understanding of people who think differently from us, or come from diverse cultural backgrounds.
We should see these differences as opportunities for growth. But more often than not, we tend to see these differences as threats. The work of engaging becomes difficult when walls of resistance are formed. And as a result, we accept the one-dimensional narrative, because to do otherwise would require us to step outside of our comfort zone.