Select Page

Classed, packaged and shelved

Some days I feel like we have lost sight of who we are as human beings. Have we lost our humanity? The way we treat each other can be disturbing. Do you ever stop to wonder why that man/woman that bumped into you sneered at you apologizing like it was your fault instead?
I wonder what kind of day they are having. Or why some cab drivers can be so rude? This really irks me when people cut lines (whether its in a bank or Home Affairs). The other day I was walking down Independence Avenue and I looked up and saw that I was surrounded by a lot of people and I hadn’t even noticed. Up until that point I was in my own little world.
Some days we become so absorbed in our own agendas and plans, goals and schedules that we forget that we are coming into contact with people all the time. We’ve transformed into a robotic, less human society with a lot less feeling.
The ability to empathize and communicate is part of being human. We are social creatures and forming bonds amongst ourselves is imperative. Between your ipad, palm pilot, Iphone, computer and laptop and social media, it doesn’t seem like we need that personal touch any longer. How can we relate to each other if we close ourselves off? Technology should not be a hindrance but be helpful. How is it that we are becoming slaves to our own creations?
We don’t need to become best friends but if we can start to realize that we are all human beings then maybe we’ll be more compassionate. I’m not talking about a superficial or cosmetic change in the way we treat people but a paradigm shift. Look at people and really see.
Human beings cannot be neatly packed away into a box and classified and shelved. We are complex, diverse and multi dimensional. We are more than our jobs, sex, skin colour and ethnicity. We are more than the clothes we wear or the God we choose we to worship (Or think there is no god), We are so much more than our sexual orientation, so much more than mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and distant cousins, employees, employers, friends etc.
The number of stories I’ve heard about racist behaviour towards blacks and whites amongst my circle of friends is rather too high. One of my friends is experiencing this at her office and she’s that kind of person who just oozes likeability, you cannot help but like her, it is humanly impossible to dislike her.
So imagine my surprise when I heard about the way the people she worked with were treating her at a new job. I know it has nothing to do with who she is but rather, their own bias and prejudice towards her skin colour. Which is really what lies at the heart of the matter, our preconceived ideas and notion about certain people. Stereotyping people seems like fun and games but the heart of the matter really is our own prejudice.

Maybe if men and women saw each other as human beings first, the prevalence of gender based violence will decrease.
Look around you, what do you see? Do you see people? I sometimes look around at the people around me, at the strangers on the street and wonder what they are thinking and where they are off to. What they had for breakfast? Did they have breakfast? What are their passions and dreams, who do they love? Do they know what they want out of life or merely existing? What would they say if I asked them how they were and they answered honestly?
This may sound naive, but I still have faith in humanity. I still believe we can make this a human friendly world,. I don’t think I can change the whole world, but I’ll do my best to change the corner I live in, starting with myself. Every person by virtue of being born has inalienable dignity. Maybe if we treated people like people we’d be on our way to a better world.

About The Author