Only between one tenth and one eighth of an iceberg can be seen above the surface of the ocean. The other nine tenths to seven eighths are hidden in the depths of the water. People are like icebergs, their true selves hidden from view from the rest of the world until the world chooses to dive into the water and notice the majority of their being. According to the Webster’s Universal College Dictionary, stereotype is defined as, “A simplified and standardized conception or image of a person, group, etc., that is held in common by members of a group.”
Our society’s youth has a twisted version of what the world should look like. Not everything needs to be grouped, labeled, and packaged in large quantities. It doesn’t have to be sent off in bulk, and it’s okay to break things down and look at them individually. Looking at a person we should see the chance to get to know someone; not the coolness of their clothes, not the melody of their music, not the grades they get, not the sports they support, not their extra curricular activities. Looking at a person we should know that we can only see 10% of their mass. We should remember that to see the other 90% we have to dive into the ocean and look beyond what our eyes let us see at first glance. We should understand that people are like icebergs.
The teens of today are constantly looking at other people to decide what’s hot and what’s not. By not setting our own trends and not really making our own opinions, we are letting stereotypes control what we think. If we actually went according to our own personalities, our own likes, our own dislikes, our own styles, think of how different the world would be. We don’t have to have cliques and groups, we don’t have to have jocks, we don’t have to have preps, we don’t have to have goths, we don’t have to have emos, we don’t have to have nerds. The world as we know it without these things would be a completely different place. To survive in this world, it would be okay if we didn’t stereotype and judge people by their outward appearance. We should know that people are like icebergs.
Adolescence of the present not only stereotype everything that comes into view, but we base all that we know upon those stereotypes. In the Old Testament of the Bible, 1 Samuel 16:7, it says, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” So, not only is stereotyping hurtful, stereotyping is a waste of time. That verse from the Bible pretty much says it all when it says that the LORD looks at the heart, and not the outward appearance. If the LORD doesn’t judge by the way we look, what’s the point in spending our lifetime trying to look a certain way? We need to remember that none of the stuff that seems important to us now will matter in the end. We need to remember that grouping and labeling human beings is not okay. We need to remember that people are like icebergs.
Icebergs come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the smaller ones, the size of large pianos, are called growlers. Icebergs the size of small houses are usually nicknamed bergy bits. Once they get to be about the extent of a ten-story building, they are just called large icebergs. But, whatever they’re called they all have the same purpose, they float along in the ocean, big clumps of frozen freshwater engulfed in salt water. We can be the icebergs, the ones that set the trend for the water around us. We can be the ones that let the world know that we can hold our own in the salt water environment surrounding us. So, don’t let stereotypes set the standard for your sea. Just remember that people are like icebergs.
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