Deities and Demons
photo by Duke Yearlook
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Why do I tend to idolize some people and vilify others?  Why do I seem to make hasty judgements in almost every relationship? I deify and demonize every day. Why?

Deify Reflex

If a person does something that advances my ideals or wins for my team, I respond by exalting them.  I especially exalt those who grant me freedom from those who oppose or threaten me.  I have a tendency to raise them to god-like status.  The more direct benefit to me, the more I exalt them.

There is nothing wrong with promoting and empowering others to do what I believe is right.   But when I cross the line and deify them I am in danger of placing my ultimate hope in them to deliver me.

Problem is, people don’t make good deities.  They can’t live up to my expectations for a deity. Even if they may be able to measure up for a time, no one can sustain perfection in every part of their life forever.  People are far too selfish and more prone to evil than I would like to admit.

Demonize Reflex  

If I am honest, demonizing others is an escape from facing my own failures.  If I can magnify the flaws of someone else it helps me get the attention off my own mess.  It is a way I justify myself.  At least I am not as bad as they are.  It makes me feel superior morally.

I don’t have enough knowledge to write someone off simply as evil. I can choose who I support and who I oppose, but it doesn’t mean that I have to deify those I support and demonize those I oppose.  The problem comes when I deem others as evil simply because they don’t share my beliefs.

Whom do you deify?
Whom do you demonize?
Why do we deify and demonize?

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