People are real. Flesh and blood. Living, spiritual beings. We are not abstractions.
Human beings are not to be reduced to statistics, ID numbers, socio-economic classes, races, ethnicities, poll numbers, or any other demographic so identified to aid in sorting, classifying, categorizing, counting, or analyzing. Doing so dehumanizes them.
Love is the answer
We’ve all heard to love your neighbor as yourself. Why is that such a good idea? Because the only reality you know is within yourself. Everything else is a perception of reality. So, it’s relatively easy to think of others as not you–an abstraction.
But they are as real as you are.
Everything that you feel, and love, and fear, and long to be; everything that is real to you in the living of your life is the same that every other human experiences.
The ability to love ourselves and to love others as ourselves is the foundation of human interaction. Otherwise, there is you and only you, and everyone else is merely an object to be exploited for your own purposes.
Non-love produces divisions, strife, hate, bigotry, murder, thievery, manipulation, lying, all manner of actions against the well-being of others. Why? Because objectifying others is the direct result of not being empathetic or compassionate.
Love makes empathy and compassion possible
Empathy is your ability to personally identify with the feelings of others as if you were experiencing it for yourself.
Compassion is the ability to identify with the sufferings and misfortunes of others which motivates you to go out of your way to help.
Both empathy and compassion arise from loving yourself and loving your neighbor as yourself. Hence, the ability to feel their pain, their joy, their hopes, and their fears as if they were your own. That’s when everyone becomes real to you, because they are you.
It is spiritually impossible for anyone to love their neighbor as themselves and to belittle, besmirch, denigrate, humiliate, or to inflict harm in any way upon them at the same time. The two actions are mutually exclusive.
The true spirit of leading begins with loving others as you love yourself. Start there.