Dehumanizing and Other Thoughts

I have a friend that writes a blog. I never knew it. She shares it with no one. She decided that she would let me read it. I am flattered that she would let me see it.

That to this, there was a word that struck a chord with me in one of her posts. The word is “dehumanizing”. The reason why it hit me is because it is the opposite of the what I am trying to do here. I am trying to “humanize”. I am trying to get across the idea that we are humans and have worth. That humans deserve to be treated as such. The excuse that persecution always gives is that someone is less than human. They have to become dehumanized. Otherwise, if they are human, then they are equals and should be treated that way. It is part of my belief, if not yours, that we are all human. That we all have the spark of the Divine within ourselves. That humans are deserving of respect and dignity. That we are not something to be treated like a fire ant or a rabid dog. 

When we label someone a “them”, then we have pushed them out of the “us” ie humans. That is what starts the mental gymnastics that allow us to dehumanize. “I don’t care what ‘they’ do but…” “I wouldn’t want one of ‘them’ marrying MY sister…” “Why do ‘they’ have to put that shrine there? Can’t they see that decent people…” “How DARE ‘they’ do that in public?” “They are just uchy…” “MY GOD, don’t ‘they’ realize?” 

The first phrase, “I don’t care what ‘they do but…” is the most insidious. The word “but” translates as “please disregard my previous”. What is really being said is that I can fool myself into thinking I’m being generous. Truth be known, it isn’t my place to be generous or allow. It is not my right to judge someone who is not a criminal. I am not judge and jury. It is NEVER my place to do that. 

The lesson, over and over, that I’m trying to teach is that we shouldn’t dehumanize anyone.

*****************

I was also pondering some kind words that the same lady shared with me. I don’t want to be “huge”. I don’t want to be a rock star. I’m glad I’m not.I want to be small. If i get my way, I’m the last snow flake that starts the avalanche. No one sees that one, they just see the result. That’s the important part. That my Pagan friends can as openly worship as the Baptists. That my gay friends can have a “church wedding” and everyone compliments the brides and no one thinks anything about it. That I can shut down this blog because you guys made it un-needed. 

I have been given a second chance at life. If there is anything that is about me here, it is because I am grateful for that chance. If you happen upon these words it is because of that chance. It may be first person and to help me grow, too. It is really for you. I’ve got more than I deserve. What I want for me is peace for my friends. I want to be a good husband to my wife. That, truly, is my greatest joy. She deserves my very best, too. 

No, life is not always sunshine, rainbows, and purple unicorns. Yes, there are days that I am totally selfish. Yes, sometimes I want my way. I rarely ever get it. That’s ok, too.

Growth is a process. Mine was emotionally stunted for years. These words and thoughts are part of mine. By my count, I am 8 years and a few months old. Part of my growth has been to learn to love, be loved, and love myself. I have borrowed what courage I need from you guys. I try to repay it the only way I know how. I have my words and my thoughts. I hope that sharing them comes close to a down payment on an unrepayable debt.

The same people that have taught me about love have also, unintentionally, given a lesson about hate. Hate is my least favorite word. It saps emotional energy that rightly belongs to someone else. The energy used for hate is better given to those I love. Hate robs, cheats, and steals. There are very few things worthy of the work it takes to hate. The list, I’m not really counting, is probably less than 10. Hate just isn’t worth the effort. I’d rather love the opposite. 

*That’s it for now, pardon the ramble*

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