I am in Philosophy class, and I thought I would share the discussion question, and my response. Perhaps you could think how you would answer it as well…and comment if you like:)
Chapter 2 continued.
Discussion: Are you the same person that you were 5, 10, 20 years ago. If not, and everyone becomes a new person over time/circumstances, how do we (should we) maintain continuity of self-identity/personal responsibility over time? (eg;Why shouldn’t a convicted criminal be able to claim that they are a ‘different person’ than when they committed the crime?) If we ARE the same person over time, then isn’t the opposite true ? How/why should we ever be forgiven–or forgive ourselves–for past transgressions?
– I believe that I am not exactly the same person I was 5, 10, 20 years ago. I believe that perhaps there are some parts of me that have remained the same, such as passion towards things I love in life: writing, reading, sharing my heart with others, and showing others value in who they are;
I think that there are things about me that have changed as well through as you said, in a way, rites of passage. 20 yrs ago I was 8 yrs old, I had seen family issues arise heavily, and my mothers illness affected me greatly. It was hard to concentrate in school, and be social.
10 years ago- I was 18, I was the average teenager, with emotional issues, which I could only find as an outlet in my writing…I started to attend church again, and then my life started to take a turn for the better; I learned a positive perspective in years of chaos.
5 years ago- I was 23, and from that point to now, what has changed is the growth in myself; though I have been through a great deal of hardship in my life, at 23 I wasn’t ready to accept the past as I do now. I think somewhere around 25 we are forced to confront our past.
I accept and do not regret the past at all, it was what it was, and today is what it is.
I think to maintain and personal identity for ourselves is to keep focused on the things that are important in our lives, the things that help us get up in the morning.
I once wrote 25 things on a piece of paper I wanted to accomplish, and then I told myself, to just attempt to accomplish one, would be more than not trying to accomplish any of it at all…and that is how I have lived my life since, you do what you can, with what you have, when you can, regardless of what others think; living by your heart, and keeping your head up; will keep you away from the negative thoughts of this world.
I believe when it comes to a convicted criminal, if they say they have changed, I would say that it is possible. Being confined and being forced to face yourself is much harder to deal with then the actual crime committed, I would think.
I always think in the people who have done wrong to me in life; they have their own set of issues that they aren’t dealing with, and the more they do wrong to others and avoid looking at their own mistakes the worse it will be when they finally look in the mirror.
The final question about forgiving ourselves. Forgiveness is letting something go, either about ourselves or others in order to lead a healthy life and not hold a grudge about what we didn’t do, or should have done, or should have said.
” Life is not a promise, but a chance.” – Rachel Scott
We have to live life knowing that it will come to an end someday, and we need to be people that after leaving the earth others that are still here can remember us, and appreciate us for taking life on, in every circumstance.
Those who were our enemies, if we treated them fairly even after they had done something, or we had done something to someone, and just let it brush off our shoulders that it is best to move on…then that is exactly what mindset we will have.
But nothing happens overnight.