Mushrooms come in many shapes, sizes, and colors and live in many kinds of environments from under trees, in the fields, in the basement. But most people tend to think of mushrooms as though they all live in dank, dark, damp places and have a pungent, almost musty smell and slimy texture. Although this is stereotyping it really may not be all bad. We may have stereotyped thoughts in the back of our mind when we stumble across a beautiful red mushroom with white dots in the park and we may not try to eat it. Which is a good thing since it very well could be that that particular mushroom is poisonous. Admittedly there are many mushrooms that are perfectly edible, but without specialized knowledge and study, it’s difficult to know which are and which aren’t. It is better to be safe than sorry regarding the many things we do not know about. There are times when stereotyping can be a negative thing as when, among humans, assumptions are made and beliefs held about an entire race or culture and especially when those assumptions and beliefs go viral. Stereotypes should be developed by each individual (thus ridding the language of the need for the word) for use in ensuring their safety and comfort; they should not be used to revile, defame, and demoralize others. It is helpful for those who are developing their own individualized identifications and preferences to divide those preferences and identifications into discrete, defined groups. So I say go ahead and stereotype everything, only make sure that you do not compromise your own beliefs in doing so. Discretion is ultimately the best tool to use when handling your own stereotyping behavior; make sure not to interfere with anyone else’s process either. Is thoughtful stereotyping a viable concept?