As you guys know by now, I wear many hats. I have always been one to stay busy and kind of have my hand in a bit of everything. Its in my nature. With that being said, my career sits at the forefront of my existence due to the weight that this job holds. Being a police officer comes with automatic perceptions and stereotypes and I’ve spent years trying not to let those views define who I am as a person.
7 1/2 years of being a police officer, I have seen many different reactions from people after they had learned about my profession. It goes without saying that subconsciously they had already formed a perception of who they thought I was and what I stood for. As a society, our lifestyle and careers acts as a nonverbal statement of who we are. Often times individuals are judged by where they work, what they drive and the social circles that they frequent. Is it fair to judge people based on exterior characteristics instead of getting to know them as a person first?
Being a victim of this for the past 7 1/2 years, I know that outcast feeling all too well. Everyday I strive to not have the ‘Us vs Them” mentality but sometimes it is hard because the people who don’t do what we do have the most to say about what we do, lacking the empathy or understanding of the profession.
Can you separate the person from the profession? Can you look at them for who they are inside and out instead of the career they chose?
This message wasn’t to beat up on anyone or to point fingers, but rather to challenge you to be better. Form your own opinions and views based on YOUR own experiences dealing with people individually. Don’t take someone else’s story or what the media spins because those are all based on their own perceptions. Form your own and learn to give everyone an individual chance. I’ve met wealthy businessmen who were rude and arrogant and I’ve met homeless people who would give you their last dollar. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
When you judge people, you have no time to love them”
– Mother Teresa