How Personification Changed Mankind | Mental Gymnastics
A Figure of Speech, A school of Thought or a basis of Discrimination : Personification can be considered to be liberating and fuelling creativity. But are there any side effects to overusing it?
Humans are a complex species. We are intelligent and advanced. We consider ourselves to be far superior than other primates. We might have conquered the world and inhabited it as if we are the chosen ones. But when faced with nature or any other predators, we still have the same odds as any other species.
So how do we cope with being the smartest yet most vulnerable species. Imagine If one of us were at a United Species conference representing all of humanity along with representatives from other species who do you think would support us? Dogs Maybe. We would either be like a super aggressive majority nation or a highly intelligent socially awkward nerd with no rapport with any of the participating members. Either way we would be an outcast an alien amongst species with whom we have cohabited the earth for million years. We could yap for hours about our achievements with no one paying heed to it, eventually booed and thrown off the stage.
So what makes us so despicable and out of tune as a species. It all starts with Personification: The art of giving human qualities to others . Starting out as a Figure of speech, we as humans have discovered the gift of making inanimate objects more like us. Time suddenly has the ability to fly, fear stares at us, we kiss our integrity goodbye while life passes us by until death puts his icy cold hands on our shoulders. But we don’t stop at inanimate objects . We carry our little experiment on living beings. We anthropomorphize other species. Religious books, Fables, Fairy Tales, Novels , Films , Cartoons. Everything that sums up our lives
But we don’t stop at inanimate objects . We carry our little experiment on living beings. We anthropomorphize other species. Religious books, Fables, Fairy Tales, Novels , Films , Cartoons. Everything that sums up our lives have made an attempt to humanize other species. Remember we only assume that a bird “sings” and we never have had an English speaking Dog. In short Personification is one big “a-ha” moment that lasts for a lifetime , a generation or for entire existence of mankind.
And it doesn’t end here at all. Until we develop a technology to make animals speak their mind freely, we have found intra-species humanizing quite delightful. As with all things with power, we often see people who consider themselves too cool often form groups and try to “Humanize” others. Casting out different and independent individuals and then pointing out their flaws ends up either by the individual giving in or being an outcast permanently. When the dutch and Portuguese sailors first landed on different continents, it was the first interaction of two cultures. The enslavement of Indian, native Americans, Aborigines and African tribesmen by merchants is personification gone wrong. Rules based on a religious book or a monarchy were established with a view to convert people to “humanity”. The first specimen to speak English or say a prayer to the same God must have been the Eureka moment for all the civilized world. What we call racism, sexism and all other forms of discriminations are not very different from we trying to humanize everything we see .