How objectification devalues us all

Objectified, who us?

When we first meet someone our natural reaction is to quickly categorise them and mentally compare them to ourselves. This can dictate if we take a superior or submissive role and even if we have anything in common or want anything to do with them at all.

This is seamlessly woven into new conversations. What do you do for a job? Where do you live? What car do you drive? Are you married? This is in addition to the visual cues of age, gender, physical characteristics and presence.

It is very unlikely that you will get too far into a conversation until these questions are asked. It is human nature to do so. I choose not to ask (it’s fun, try it) and wait and see how long until my new friend volunteers the information and then follows with the inevitable ‘and yourself?’

Why do we have to tick the boxes? This takes on a new perspective when we seek to find someone to lead us; our personal guru – someone to whom we are prepared to hand over our freewill in return for the success, prosperity and peace we believe they can provide.

From limited information we create a story of who we think our guru is by virtue of our preconceived idea of what we expect them to be. We may assign positive characteristics that don’t exist based on assumptions that aren’t valid.  

When we objectify others we diminish them and remove their individuality.  In some ways this does make sense as we gather the information that feeds our social construction of reality. What qualities are we assigning our guru?

Where we fall short is in confusing the person with the object, the reality with the ideal. The reality is that the person we’re looking for is usually the one we want to become.

We cannot be driven by the quest to find and place on a pedestal any single person, guru or otherwise, who will make everything right, take responsibility, show us the light, bless our decisions, and remove our uncertainty.

You can be your own guru and accept others with the open heart of a spiritual mystic.

You can even wear robes. It’s all up to you!

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