Like dropping a nuclear bomb, sometimes a gross generality is the most socially violent and dismissive thing we can do to another human being.
The bomb itself being the ultimate write off, we can sort of look at what makes such things so finally & wholly damaging, and identify the areas of life in which we are overriding our powers of superior reason and habitually pushing that handy dandy Nuke Button.
What *IS* a gross generality?
I'll give some examples:
Americans are fat.
Children are annoying.
Food is expensive.
War is wrong.
All is fair in love and war.
^ These are gross generalities.
I'll try to doctor them up by adding context, but they'll still sound very negative & closed minded.
Americans tend to be overweight because they work long hours, spend too much time sitting behind the wheel, and have been raised to watch television rather than relax and connect via meaningful activity.
Children tend to have short attention spans and often lack an adult's perception of appropriate noise and behavior in public.
Food does cost a lot if one doesn't garden, save leftovers, or is an uncreative shopper, etc, partly thanks to our consumer culture and the way we are encouraged to discard the old without planning for it.
War tends to be disruptive; there is little in life more disruptive than war. Lives are needlessly lost due to the violent and chaotic nature of the battlefield and war probably isn't the most efficient means of humanity's self betterment.
Regarding love and war, both things about which humans do tend to feel passionately, people are less likely perhaps to demonstrate the gracious characteristics of patience, generosity, and understanding, but rather cave in to the powerful and primitive emotions such as jealousy and anger.
^ Even though I've provided good reason and some context, my statements above are still not original and do very little to educate or inform anyone -- because dress it up as much as you like, gross generalities are ugly, and like barbed wire, they prevent humans from traveling between social groups and sharing anything peacefully.
Carried within most gross generalities is a presumption of error, inferiority, stupidity, self- entitlement.
Although "keeping it simple, Stupid" is a functioning system, the Stupid says it all.
When we systematize and justify our strangely accusative generalities, when we practice a repertoire of beliefs and try pounding it into others' skulls, we are enlightening no one.
Life requires the time and freedom it takes to arrive at a sensible, informed, contextually sound conclusion, not necessarily based on the impression of years spent suffering at the hands of others or hating the government.
When we justify independence merely by being free of the assumed stupidity of others, that's not freedom, it's misanthropic.
How to spot a misanthrope in 60 seconds?
Listen to what he says, and if there's nothing good about humanity being said, there's probably very little hope for the friendship and no sense wasting your time on a person who trains him or herself to be constantly miserable.
Learning to love life in spite of ourselves requires letting go of judgment long enough to absorb meaningful details.
I'll say it again. If you're too busy counting timber to appreciate the individual tree for what it is, a sacred life form with its own sacred life path and mission on this planet, you're probably on the wrong planet.
Gross generalities strike at the very diversity of life. They clip off the branches and nip the buds of potential.
Try your hand at gentle gnosis before the snake of gross generality can strike!
"I can know everythingMatthew 18:2-4 New International Version (NIV)
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Only when I know nothing."
"Innocence is purity."
The Lord gives wisdom (sophia), from his face come knowledge (gnosis) and understanding (sunesis)"
— Proverbs 2.6