The Beauty of Personhood

As I sit here watching my 2 year old daughter marvel over the play-doh “snake” that I just made for her, I am struck at the amazing, complex, and beautiful nature of human personhood.

I am Sean Scribner. I am the same person I was yesterday, two weeks ago, and 10 years ago. And yet I’m not. What has changed? The change in my life is not just a matter of history. I am not different today simply because I am further along a linear path of time that now has a greater amount of history than any time before it. I was Sean Scribner in the past, and I will be Sean Scribner even after I die. Even if I change my name I will still be the same unique individual I have always been. Nothing can change that fact.

Yet as I look at my daughter in light of who I am I realize that, while I am the same person as I was before I met her (i.e. a concrete and unique individual who is completely non duplicable), I am not the same person I was before. She has forever changed who I am, i.e. my personhood. This change is not simply abstract, but real, something, dare I say, mystical. The same can be said in regards to my wife. She has forever altered my personhood. She has not made me into a different person (as in the sense of someone else altogether), yet she has forever altered my personhood in a real, unique, and permanent way. That is amazing to me.

I don’t purport to exhaustively know everything there is to know about the human person. You can only know so much about such a mysterious thing from reading a book. Truth is, you have to be a person to begin to really know what a person is. And since in every moment of every day, in every situation, and especially in every relationship you have, your personhood is constantly being redefined, live life with a continued sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation of the fact that you are a human being, created in the image of God, who is forever three Persons in perfect loving union. Won’t that make life that much more meaningful and exciting?

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