reply to post by Ralphy
Summarizing a person or culture into one or two words makes it easier when dealing impersonally with them.
Think of your friends and family - you know them intimately and so you do not think of them objectively. The things they have done, the people they
are have been written in your memory. A rich description of them exists, but if needed, you could summarize them in one or two words, to a person who
did not know them. eg. My father, my friend etc.
With someone you do not know at all, it is simpler to apply a title to them summarizing who they are. Mostly this is what they do. eg. Bus driver,
cashier, farmer, murderer, terrorist. It lets you know what purpose this person serves for you, or how you should react to them.
Certainly, those people have their own lives, needs, feelings, history, family etc.
The bus driver may be a cancer survivor, an immigrant, a sister. She drives the bus. You need to ride the bus.
For you, she is the bus driver. Their history is inconsequential to the extent and time period of your interactions with them.
If you developed a deeper relationship with those people, the need for a title would dissipate. She would cease to be simply the bus driver, and
become Sarah (brave cancer survivor, plays violin, likes Bach, divorced, friendly, from Spain) her history would give you a deeper insight into her
personality. But again, those are all summaries.
The image you see is based on the knowledge you have.
Perhaps the people you know better simply have more images applied to them, and can be seen as one, or dissected into many parts.