Today when my friend and I left for lab after dinner, my friend asked me to wait while he got the umbrella from his room. I remarked, "It'd be fun getting drenched in the rain, why get an umbrella?"
He replied, "Since we are two people, we won't completely escape the rain, so you may get drenched as well."
"Then why use the umbrella at all?"
"Let the umbrella do the work its made for. Its been lying there in my room for so many months doing nothing!"
The last line in this conversation effectively brings out the point I wish to make here. In my opinion, 'We sometimes tend to treat an object like a person.'
So often I've observed myself talking to objects, as in, saying 'sorry' to some object after bumping into it, or smiling at my shoes or bucket, calling my laptop as "hey buddy", or exclaiming "there you are" after finding my lost pair of specs after hours of search, etc. It does sound crazy but living alone in a small room for long hours does that to a person sometimes! So many times and I'm sure all of us would have kissed an object that's either favorite or very dear to us!
Humans have this tendency to sometimes personify things around them. Fairy tales and cartoon movies are the result of such a personification.
Remember, "mirror mirror on the wall, who's the prettiest of all?" That's fairy tale you'd say, but looking at a mirror, don't you wonder about your looks and smile/wink at a mirror when in jolly mood. Your interaction might be with yourself, but mirror is like a go-between and receives a part of that interaction.
The converse is easier to understand, i.e., 'We sometimes tend to treat a person like an object.'
Overburdening others, and sometimes oneself, with work is equivalent to treating oneself like an object! A personal computer can run for days on electricity, but no amount of food/drinks can make a human work efficiently for days! Most importantly, we need sleep, and also some breaks occasionally. We certainly tend to treat people subordinate to us as objects on various occasions.
I often give any object (eg: my mobile phone charger) that I own to another person, when its not in use by me, so that he/she could use it in the meantime. I assume that wear and tear due to more use is negligible and hence that object is being used instead of remaining idle. Doing the same to a subordinate is exploitation! :P
Treating an object with respect is what I find akin to treating an object like a person. And treating a person without due respect is treating that person like an object!
Animals fall in between humans and objects, so treating an animal as human and treating an animal as an object, both the cases exist!
P.S. - This post certainly reminds me of "Toy Story" !!
P.S. - Reminds me of those days when hitting TV on the side(s) used to make it work again! Now this is treating an object like a person! :P :D