You Are a Person: You Are Not Your Pain

When someone asks about you, do you state your career or perhaps where you are in school?  You are more than your career.

Do you state your age or where you live? You are more than these.

If someone asks you how you are doing and you are in emotional pain, do you make the mistake of defining yourself by that pain?

You are more than your career or your age or where you live or the amount of pain you are in.

You-UniqueWho are you? Yes, all of the above characteristics are part of who you are, but who are you really?

You are a person who is special, unique, and irreplaceable. There is no one just like you on the planet. You have inherent (built-in) worth because you are a person.

You have the capacity to love and to overcome emotional pain through love and forgiveness.

You are much more than your pain….and so is the one who has caused you the pain.

Robert

11 thoughts on “You Are a Person: You Are Not Your Pain

  1. Chris May 24, 2013 / 10:38 am

    This post got me wondering. The public schools in the United States rarely use the word “moral” now. They are afraid to offend anyone by stating what is and is not moral because they lack a moral compass. Recently, legislation has been introduced by pro-life groups to define “personhood” as any living human being, which includes living in the womb. Do you think that the term “person” now will become controversial and not used in good company?

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  2. Samantha May 24, 2013 / 10:51 am

    Chris, you raise a good point. People can censor language for only so long and there becomes a tipping point where persons—-yes, persons—say, “Enough.” If we expunge the word “person” from our vocabulary because it does not suit a certain political end, then that end will be seen as a bad end, not worth pursuing. We will retain the word “personhood” and thus we will retain our diginity and respect.

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  3. Mark May 24, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    The term “person” has been around for millennia. It is useful and it is important because it conveys dignity. So what if some people end up detesting the word? We will have and show courage. In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Even those who detest the word “person” are still persons, and we will respect them as persons even if they try to stop us. We will forgive them and we will still use the word.

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  4. Penelope May 25, 2013 / 10:28 am

    Viewing others as persons, who share all things in common with me and others, is at the heart of forgiving and being forgiven. We do not want to give up this important idea. In fact it should be fostered in soceities.

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  5. Nancy May 26, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Seeing myself as a person helps me to gather the strength to see the one who hurt me as a person.

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  6. Beth May 26, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    If we conclude that all human beings are persons, then we have to futher conclude that all human beings are worthy of respect. This is the challenge when we are forgiving, to see the one who was unfair as worthy of respect.

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  7. Chris May 26, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    But don’t you think that some people can lose their “personhood”? I know some people who seem to act less than human.

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  8. Samantha May 27, 2013 / 10:04 am

    Chris, can an apple lose its “appleness” if there is a bite taken out of it? Is it stll an apple or has it been transformed into something else? Humans with defects are persons and need to be treated that way.

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  9. Chris May 27, 2013 / 10:44 am

    Thank you, Samantha. But isn’t a person by definition supposed to be a certain way? The thread here talks about respect and love. When a person ceases to have these for others then can we really say they still are a person?

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  10. Penelope May 27, 2013 / 11:08 am

    Chris, do imperfections invalidate the essence of a thing or of a person? If a stuffed teddy bear loses an arm, is it still not the prized possession of the child? If persons have defects are they not still special and worthy of respect even if they do not extend respect? The essence of the person does not change as the surface features change including behavior.

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  11. Roger May 27, 2013 / 11:31 am

    It is too easy to say that someone we do not like is “less than human” which means that he is not a person. It is too convenient of an excuse. Forgiveness makes us do the work of seeing the pesonhood even in those we detest.

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