Other Stuff – Anthropomorphism


To be ignored feels terrible. To be ignored and lonely is worse. To be the cause, the inflictor of those feelings on another is not a good feeling either.

The other day, I found myself being the inflictor. I wouldn’t say I felt bad about it. Let’s just say that for a moment, I was aware of the effect of my actions. Maybe for a fraction of a second, I felt a tiny bit bad. Just a smidge.

But please don’t label me a sociopath. I’m more of an anthropomorphist.

My offense? I threw a plastic bag into the garbage container. The garbage container was empty. I felt sorry for the bag, all alone in there.

Anthropomorphism is when human attributes are given to non-human creatures, objects, or abstract concepts. In literature, the sea can be described as “angry”. And then there are when animals are viewed of in terms normally given to humans.

Some people might think, that applying that to a plastic bag thrown in the garbage would be a tad silly, or strange, or perhaps, crazy.

But have you ever walked by a stuffed toy, perhaps one that was on the floor. Perhaps it was face down. Maybe you picked it up, put it on a shelf. Then maybe, maybe, did you smile? You did, didn’t you? Why did you smile? That’s right, you were glad you made the toy HAPPY!

A great example of this is in the video below of a commercial for IKEA.

How could you not feel sad looking at that lamp? Recently I bought a new chair for my desk at IKEA. It replaced an old wooden banker’s chair I had for years. I love that chair. But the wheels kept falling off, and it would leak oil spots from the mechanism onto the floor. It was time for a new chair. Now it sits, unused, in the garage. I feel bad for my old chair. But at least the garage is full of other stuff to keep it company.

Do you think this is crazy? Did you watch the IKEA commercial and NOT feel sorry for the lamp? Maybe you have sociopathic tendencies. Go ahead, look it up the dictionary. Not an online dictionary. Go to your shelf. There, that dictionary you haven’t picked up in years. Think of how neglected it must feel. Go on.

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