Let us take pity on the great men and women of the past, the ones now dead who linger in the mind ... whose bright-light wisdom or deeds arouse horror or homage. For pity's sake, let us take pity on the dead!
Were they not as alive as you or I, striding the earth with two arms and two legs? Who are we to deny them the humanity that informed the greatness we choose to remember? What makes us think we can rightfully dismember and segment them just because they no longer have a way to rebut our sycophantic honors or disgust?
How horrified a Jesus or Buddha or Gandhi (or those of less famed resolve) might be to hear our unimaginative and lazy and self-important applause! How despairing or disgusted to hear "s/he was no different from you or me" -- the mewling egalitarianisms of those who will not stand on their own two feet ... the footnote writers who can do no better than to refer their conclusions to some much-applauded forbear.
For pity's sake, let us take pity on the dead...
And thus take pity upon the living.