I came across this quote recently and I really liked it, so, naturally, I thought I’d share it with you all!
“But remember, there are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.”
– David Wong
With all of the human rights stories coming out now, people are talking a lot about dehumanization of certain groups. Most often this happens because we dismiss the problems of those whom we don’t encounter. It’s very easy to forget about the people being killed in the middle east everyday, simply because we don’t encounter them, and we don’t identify with them (for the most part). This is a form of dismissal. Although usually unintentional, it creates a separation between us an them, and that is quite dehumanizing.
But we also do it to those who we identify greatly with. When we idolize someone, we have taken away the human part and turned them into an icon. We cease to see them as a person, with thoughts, feelings, and flaws. Instead, we see them as this image of perfection. In a sense, we have given them the same other status as we have given those innocent dead in the middle east.
The best way to respect everyone, and avoid this dehumanization, is to view others foremost as people. After all, we are all people and probably have more similarities than differences.