Looking At Humanity's Differences Like We Look At Different Birds
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Politics and Activism

Looking At Humanity's Differences Like We Look At Different Birds

What if we looked at humanity's differences the same way we look at multiple different birds?

Looking At Humanity's Differences Like We Look At Different Birds

Something I find interesting are the images that we paint of others. We give others, whether they're peers, historical figures, or celebrities, an image that we feel best describes them in relation to the common human (or our generalized perception on what a human is). Going from there, you could ask, "what is a human?", but that wouldn't be an article for me to write, at least not now. As one man, I couldn't do that description the justice it deserves. Despite this, there most certainly is a standard that we give each other as humans whether that standard is based in how we treat other people or our expectations or snap judgments that we give to them.

I believe that this standard stems from ourselves and how we see others in relation to ourselves. How we see ourselves would surely stem from a multitude of different factors; from how we perceive others to view us, our interests, physical characteristics and many other things. Once again, I couldn't do this subject the justice that I feel that it deserves, but thankfully it's not the main focus of what I was contemplating. The thing that I want to address is what happens whenever we deviate from this apparent standard. The main focus is this issue that is mentioned, but doesn't seem to be elaborated on enough, or at least as much as it should: Dehumanization.

I hear it mentioned usually in those social justice rants where one group of people is accused of dehumanizing another, and I think there is some weight to those accusations. The issue starts when we separate people into "others" apart from ourselves, as opposed to others like us. For example, we have white people and black people and there's substantial evidence to assume that we treat people differently based on which category they would fall into. This would suggest that based on your "category" you would treat people from another category differently as opposed to how you would treat people in your own. Of course, that example fails to acknowledge all of the other categories that we would fall into as people.

A quick solution to that would be to just look at the greater category that we would fall into: Human Beings. However, that doesn't mean that this whole categorical system is all bad. After all, because we have that greater category in common, outlining our differences shouldn't be seen with such antipathy. That reaction would be something that effects us personally, like a sense of alienation due to how apparent those differences would be, which could explain why it's typical of people to flock around others who share the category with the most value to them. Once again, that's perfectly fine, since it gives us a sense of solidarity and community, which is very important, but that creates the sense of "other" that we place onto other people in other categories, which skews our perception of them a bit. Because these other people are not a part of your normal, they likely lose a part of what makes them human to you.

This seems to usually happen when we're categorizing people, because this doesn't tend to be the case when it's something else. If we were to look at a number of different colored birds, they would just be a bunch of different colored birds. There wouldn't be too much separation between them and if there is, that doesn't take away anything from the other birds. The big bird isn't more or less of a bird due to it's size, while the bird with a long neck is still just this interesting bird. Their differences change little in relation to how we treat them, which doesn't seem to be the case with people.

It's undeniable that a typical man treats a women differently from how he would treat a man, and it's not typically a good different. The difference in treatment appears to be based in the respect that you give to this other person. The same applies to race and is a huge factor in the arguments for social justice. Personally, this entire article comes off as a bit of a ramble, but my point in all of this is to deeply examine how we look at and treat others, and see if we treat them differently from how we would treat ourselves and loved ones: the go to standards for people in our lives. With a wealth of self awareness, I believe that we can actually begin to treat people as people.

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