82 Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 Action arises through various avenues in the landscape of our communities and our interactions with others. However, action also applies to ourselves and an awareness within ourselves. Accordingly, mindfulness enables us to act appropriately with wisdom and compassion. As a result of our mindful actions, our social ecosystem can be more enriching and humane for everyone (Julian 2021, 211). In our hectic lives, we quickly forget that our interaction with the world begins within us. Paying attention to ourselves can help us understand ourselves. It allows us to observe our thoughts and actions. Accordingly, mindful attention enables spaces for our observance and meta-cognitive processes (Zarbock et al. 2014, 14). It helps us regulate our attention and emotions such that practitioners report increased positive moods while reducing anxiety and depression (Walter and Materi-Shushan 2022, 102). Mindful attention also helps us with false narratives we play in our heads about ourselves and others. It allows us to approach our narratives compassionately to change those negative stories (Zarbock et al. 2014, 27–28). Mindfulness in action aids our personal growth. According to Hanh (2020, 57–59), mindfulness in our everyday lives helps us understand ourselves and the world around us. In addition, studies suggest mindfulness helps us grow and gain wisdom about our inner selves. Mindfulness also promotes fairness and caring for others (Verhaeghen 2020, 331–332). In my own experience, these actions recall a saying we often shared during our meditation training: we do not live to improve our meditation; instead, we meditate to improve our lives. Mindfulness provides action avenues for resolving social problems. Van Doesum et al. (2013, 87) describe a social mindfulness that focuses on the needs of others. The intent is to give people options in their decision-making. Accommodating others in this way enables them to make their own decisions in their daily lives. Social mindfulness’s outcome can be a personal and mutual well-being (Van Doesum et al. 2013, 101). Other avenues of action can also be taken. For example, research has shown that mindful meditation and Christian contemplation can alleviate those discriminated against and reduce the harm from those who discriminate (Polinska 2018, 336). In another example, Anālayo (2020a, 2295) suggests that mindfulness can lower our biases of superiority in racial contexts. Additionally, according to Miller and Verhaeghen (2022, 10), mindfulness and compassion increase our recognition of humanity and ethnic sensitivity. We do not live alone, nor would we want to except for occasional days of respite. We live in a family, a community, and a world of people. Often, these people are very different from us: they look different, wear different clothing, and think differently. These differences result in social categorizations that can turn negative and lead to prejudice, discrimination, and eventually hatred. Hahn suggests that mindfulness can help us resolve these social problems. Accordingly, mindful people are aware of suffering and work toward the well-being of others (Hanh 2020, 101–103). 6 The Problems of Social Categorization Categorization is a cognitive process we use throughout the day. Everywhere we go, we categorize the objects we see and the actions we perform. For example, we pick up a hairbrush and drive a car to the store. In just that single sentence, several categories of objects and events exist. We also categorize the woman next door, the man who lives down the street, and the person we just walked past on the sidewalk. We do it all the time without even thinking. In other words, it is difficult, if not impossible, to stop categorizing (Brown 2010, 36). In this article, categorization is not about the objects and events in our daily lives. Instead, it is about the categorization of people. Here, we classify people like biologists who tabulate woodland plants or garden beetles. We look at the common attributes of people and then place them into groups with others who have similar traits. For example, we may classify people in our community by their profession, gender, or hair color. We may do the same to those we see while driving down the street or walking into a store. In these social categorizations, we place people with attributes like our own into the same groups we belong to, called ingroups. Similarly, we place those who do not share our attributes into outgroups (Liberman, Woodward, and Kinzler 2017, 556). Not all social categorizations are harmful, of course. They can be valuable when we need to find a plumber, a nurse, or a doctor. However, categorizing people is not always beneficial. When we categorize people into groups, the results can lead to prejudice. Brown describes the close everyday connection between social categorization and prejudice. “The idea that social categorization is a necessary precursor of prejudice is crucial because it emphasizes prejudice’s ordinary or common-place nature” (Brown 2010, 36). Perhaps the everydayness of social categorization, as Brown indicates, is