Aha moments are flash of inspiration that turns out productive if properly utilized. One of my aha moments occurred during my last summer vacation. To remain productive, I decided to take a six-hour shift job at one of the fast food outlets in my area. During the first day, I was introduced to my workmates. However, one lady seemed oddly quiet and isolated. Before I attempted to talk to her, one of the colleagues tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “You don’t want to talk to her.” My first impression was that the woman was anti-social, probably hostile, or overly aggressive to others. Two weeks later, I decided to talk to her. While she was much reserved, I learned that other employees were mean to her since she had greatly messed up her work on the first day. As we started connecting with her, other employees started changing their perception about her as well. The true epiphany came when one of the colleagues asked me, “how comes you really connect with her?” As I replied to him, I realized that I am my own master. I am responsible for my own doing, and that decisions I make can positively or negatively impact other people’s lives.
As Greenberg et al. (2018) enlighten, stereotypes results from roles and behaviors imposed by a society towards a particular group. Another aha moments relates to social prejudice nurtured by family differences. When I was in seventh grade, my parents were not in good terms with one of the neighbor. For this reason, they warned me against associating with any member of their family since they were dangerous and mean. However, it happened that we were in the same school with one of the girls. While I avoided her by all means, she was so friendly to me, offered to assist me with my studies, and even defended me from bullies. Eventually, we developed a strong friendship, but we kept it secret to our parents. When she transferred to another school, I was very emotional about it. I even blamed my parents for her transfer. Six years later, we unexpectedly met in a hotel. It was one of my happiest and revealing moments. First, I realized that love and friendships are emotional connections that cannot be dictated by other parties. No matter how our parents wanted to dictate our friendship, they could not control our emotions. Furthermore, if I stuck to the predefined notion that she was dangerous and mean, I would not have found such a close friend.
Greenberg, J., Schmader, T., Arndt, J. & Landau, M. (2018) Social Psychology, 2nd Edition.