Unconscious Biases : Ashamed of or aware of?

I was checking my bags in at the airport. As the process was fairly slow – I started talking to the ground staff…One of those guys who helps to lift bags at luggage counters. I pulled his leg & he did likewise. Soon the boarding pass was ready, I bid goodbye to him and proceeded to my boarding gate.

Later, he was walking about inside the terminal and he spotted me. So we started talking again. He sat with me and told me about his life – his previous jobs, his current job, his education and a lot more. Soon, his managers were doing their rounds, he got scared and I asked him to get back to work. As he was about to leave, he asked me for my phone number and I got freaked out a bit. I didn’t oblige.

After he left though, I felt a bit disappointed by the experience. I realised that if it were an air hostess or  a co-passenger, I would have given them my phone number.I was ashamed. I was unconsciously biased against that boy. 

But on more thought, I realised that unconscious biases exist. They were built into me because of my background and upbringing. While I can’t undo all of that, I can be more aware of my actions and consciously correct for my biases. Perhaps then, unconscious biases are not something to be ashamed of but rather something we need to be aware of.

My super-public habit tracker 

June: Exercise 4 Blogging 3 Meditation 1

May: Exercise 4 Blogging 10 Meditation 6

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