Humanize to Understand

I was listening to an interview this am of a guy that infiltrated or maybe immersed himself in a culture that he wanted to learn about.  It was something that he did to learn about this culture with which he knew nothing about or had nothing in common with.

He went to learn, but by his own admission, because he was playing a role, he slowly started to become his role that he felt like he had lost his mooring.  In wanting to learn and understand this other culture, he had slowly become accepted into it.  He said that he was seeking to humanize the people in this culture.

It caught my attention.  He wanted to humanize the people with a different ideology, and in humanizing them he was able to understand them.  It’s so easy to hate or strongly dislike someone that we disagree with because they do not believe as we do, but it’s possible to treat people with honor and respect and still disagree with their thinking.  It’s more human to do so.

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