I know people who are loving parents, kind colleagues, supportive friends, helpful community members and yet, they can quickly turn into violence and hate towards other human beings like immigrants, politicians or just people with a different perspective of the world.
How is it possible? I know for sure they would never use the same language or even have the same thoughts towards people they know. But, they can quickly attack someone on social media, or spit harsh words against people they’ve never seen or met.
Then I read this article, and I discover that we all have this program wired in our brain that gives us the ability to see fellow men and women as less than human. It’s a process called dehumanization.
Most of us would never say or do such terrible things to another human being. But what if we don’t see others are human beings?
What if we see them as something else, something less then human?
Anytime we dehumanize others, we loosen our ethical values and principles. So we don’t feel bad for what we say or do. It’s a lie we tell ourselves so we can still feel good people even while we say hateful things.
And we all do that very often. Anytime we look at people, and we see only the surface; the job they do, the role they have, the place where they are from, the group they belong and so on. If we can’t see the human being, we are permitting ourselves to relax our ethical principles.
We are all human beings.