A few weeks ago, I saw my first cockroach – actually six of them – at my office at work. I have since had several nightmares about them, one of which was last night. A small part of me feels silly about this. I wonder, if they can’t hurt me, why am I afraid of them? Then I realize that perhaps I have built up such a prejudice and irrational fear of these bugs that is hindering my ability to live in harmony with the quick-footed rouge-colored bugs. This got me thinking about how prejudice builds towards anything. When it comes to cockroaches, my only reference to the bugs are from travel movies when the girl screams in the hotel room and gets her boyfriend to squash them for her (this is problematic on so many levels). So my feeling of them being gross, scary, and dangerous is built from messages I got from Hollywood. What about how other prejudice is built? Where are we getting the messages that make us build up prejudice for those who are different from us? Is it from school? TV? Movies? Friends? Church? What can we do to get over our fear and break down our prejudice so we can live more harmonious, caring lives? It may take a while, but it’s worth doing. I know that with some serious work, I can get over my fear of harmless bugs. We can do the same with the judgments and prejudice we’ve built up against people who are different than us. All we have to do is try.