What is a person?
Why do I ask this time and time again?? Because honestly… a lot of our current issues and mistakes boils down to this question. What we are, what we aren’t. What we can change, what we can’t. What we’re in control of what we can’t. Are we blank slates? Are we preset? Are we instinctual creatures controlled only by our chemical makeup and carnal desires? Or are we dynamic and sentient beings who are born with temptations and shortcomings yet gifted the ability and responsibility to fight through them?
There are many questions which tie to this question…
I think the biggest mistake we make in the world today is focusing too much on peoples’ actions… and why not? For most people it is the most we can see. What a person decides on says a lot about their strengths and weaknesses (though even then, we can only see the outcome and not the intentions behind it). But are we really something as simplistic as a series of actions? Do we make choices? Or do choices make us?
We judge people by their end. If someone dies a hero, then everything they did was golden. If someone dies a tyrant, then everything they did should never be spoken of. We can claim someone created something beautiful until they do something we disagree with. Then they were making corrupt and horrid things all their lives and we bury our past enjoyments where no one can see that we ever touched them.
On the other side of this spectrum, we feel temptations and lose battles ourselves. We end up deciding there is no use fighting as this is who we are. That there’s no future for us because we were just born a certain way. That there’s no path ahead because the one path shown to us won’t hold us. But are we really such simple things??
If we are made of our actions than our decisions mean nothing. What’s the point of struggling over something? You’re only going to answer a certain way because that is who you are.
Now some may argue that “Struggling over something is part of who you are that will affect the actions you take! So just giving up is not being true to your real self!” as well they should. But the thing is that if there is more than one kind of action we can take, then we are obviously more than the actions we decide on.
People change over time. We find new passions. Hobbies. We get influenced by different things which affects our outlook on this world. Our bodies change, through growth, sickness, and tragic loss. There are many things that affect what direction we may be headed currently… yet there is always something that keeps us “us”.
I have moved around a lot growing up, and have met many people over many years from around the world. Some are there for a minute, and then are gone for good. Others stay around from time to time. And then there are some who disappear for decades only to be reconnected at the strangest of times.
Of the last type, they often come back having gone through all sorts of trials, changed outlooks. Some have changed beliefs, others life purposes. Many do things they would NEVER have done back when I knew them or would have even condemned others for doing……. So why is it then that they are always so easily recognizable? Why is it that no matter how much they change, (and believe me, many have changed IMMENSELY emotionally, spiritually, and physically) Why is it then that there is always something at the core of who they are that makes you think “That is totally _____….”
There is something more to people than actions, decisions, and beliefs. Something unique to each of us, yet something we all have. We decide on actions. We mull over decisions. We grow in our beliefs. But there is something at the core of who we are that allows us to face said questions and mull over the possibilities. Something beyond the physical realm as substance abuse, hormonal dabbling, mental degradation, or general growth does not affect it. Something beyond our mental selves as growth in knowledge, change in beliefs, and bitterness or empathy does not corrupt it… call it spirit, soul, or poppycock. There is something there. Some core to who we are… What we are… Something that makes us all unique yet somehow does not put some of us at an advantage or disadvantage from others. To know what that is makes it far easier to not be bogged down with the distractions of who did what and speculation… because it lets you realize we are all people… all with the potential for good and for bad. Yet all desperately in need of the one who can lead us on.
We are all unique, yet all the same. All strong yet all dependent. It is a beautiful paradox to be sure