The episode focused on FIRST ENCOUNTERS of every sort--first kiss, first time meeting a foreigner, first time hearing. As human beings we are constantly bombarded by information. What happens in our brains when we see something or someone for the first time?
The simple answer: we categorize. We instantly compare what we are seeing for the first time to the stored information in our brains, trying to make sense of it. This instantaneous process sometimes leads us to jump to conclusions about what we are seeing. Sometimes we label things or people incorrectly. Much of the time there is no malicious intent--we are simply trying to make sense of the world around us. There is a problem, however, if we don't stop to check ourselves--to see if our brain's instantaneous classification system did a good job. There is a problem if we allow our brains to "judge a book by its cover."
Think about all the things that describe who you are. List them.
How many of those qualities are things that you can physically see in less than a second?
Think about the things that people see when they look at you.
How many of those things accurately describe who you are inside?
(If looking at yourself is too hard, choose someone you love--your child, for example, and list the qualities that make them who they are.)
The point is, that in the extremely short time it takes our brains to process information, we are making judgments about what we see. It is natural. It is necessary in order for us to sort out the endless stream of information we are exposed to. But our brains are not always seeing the full picture.
Wouldn't it be interesting if our brains could see deeper than the surface? Maybe there wouldn't be so much hurtful judgment of each other for skin color, body shape, hair type, or other physical differences. What if we could see the essence of each other? What if we didn't just settle on our brain's categorization and went past that first encounter?