When we dislike certain behaviours of people we don't personally know, it is so easy to de-humanise them. We just see them as OTHER people with no connection to us whatsoever.
And we no longer identify them as real people with families or people with parents or kids. They are just blank faces with bad behaviours. We pigeonhole them and they become just another collective group of people to us.
I had an interesting encounter where I became the other people. It's a funny one. I usually walk the dog early in the morning, and we were just standing outside someone's home, not on his property, and the dog was just sniffing. And then this elderly man hissed at us (yes like a cat). I thought nothing of it because I presumed that he was not well mentally.
We walked a little away, and then he came out of his home and stared us down. Doggo and I also stared at him. For a long while.
It was just staring. But my thoughts were: OMG, I have become one of the others in this man's mind. The ones who let their dogs poop outside this guy's home and walk away without cleaning up. So now, everyone who walks past his home is one of those badly behaved dog owners.
I continued to stay there, letting my dog take his time to sniff around, and then as easily as we sauntered onto the path, we casually walked away again. Allowing this man to just stand there to witness us. Maybe there was a hope inside me that I was trying to humanise the whole experience for him.
Have you caught yourself de-humanising OTHER people for their bad behaviour? Whether online or offline? We pigeonhole people and then they automatically become the OTHER people, they become a stat, they are no longer human.
In 2021, the universal theme seems to be DIVISION that is the game being played out, it is even more vital for us not to allow this to happen. And what are we doing in our daily lives not to allow this to happen? It has to begin within our own consciousness. Our inner worlds.
In our inner worlds, where are the divisions? How have we de-humanised ourselves internally? And at what cost, to our own mental and emotional well being?
Use these as points of contemplation for the week, if you like. It is vital for our collective consciousness as well as for our individual growth and progress.
I bow to the human in you, as I see the human in myself.
©2021 Shamala Tan
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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.