I am Human Becoming
Our Metaphysics class never fails to inspire me, thanks to our great mentor Fr. Michael La Guardia, SDB. This morning we just discussed the “person”. What is a person, we ask. Not to suck you in the vortex of philosophy, a person is the perfection of a being, that existing being that has an intellectual nature. You and I are persons and each of us have his sacred dignity.
When I heard these things, my heart beat faster than I realize. It felt like good news to someone who was in the dark all these time. It was the best explanation for all the anger that I have ever felt these past months over something that refuses to be helped, that refuses to see.
We remain persons, with the powers of reason and freedom, and remains so even if these powers cease to function. Thus, a zygote, a fetus and a person in coma is still a human person. Think about the ethical repercussions of this statement! We share the same dignity despite the skin color, the shape of nose, the height, the weight, the talents and skills, because we are all persons based on the One Person, who made us in his image and likeness. As human persons, we are all equals.
With this, each one of us possess rights and with it duties. We have the right to be loved, and perhaps the duty to love. We have the right to be recognized, and the duty to recognize others. We have the right to laughter and joy, and an invitation to be contagious with it. No one is less deserving for the things that God has abundantly poured out.
Then, Fr. Mike posed this question: Am I only nature and nurture? Are we limited to our nature and to the environment we live in? No, we are not limited to it for there is another element: choice. We choose who we are, so we can actually transcend our nature and nurture. How many people have gone beyond their poverty, their environment, their limitations, and their handicap? That’s why we have what we call self-transcendence. To say that “this is who I am and you must respect me for remaining so”, is resoundingly false. You can choose to be better. I can choose.
We choose, and we never stop choosing between choices, day by day, moment by moment. We choose to wake up or not, not take showers or not, to eat or not, to go to school or not, so on and so forth. We are always in a process, a movement forward. This is the process of human becoming. We are not just humans, we should become more human with each choice that we make. Your birth tells you you are a human being but it is you who chooses to remain so and even better.
The pinnacle of our being persons is God himself. We move forward not just in any direction but, as C.S. Lewis puts it, further up and further in! We just don’t remain in the limitations of humanity, we transcend our humanity and take upon ourself the divinity that Christ has shared with us with his victory on the cross. As Christians, and quite contrary to the natural, we are called to love and pray for our enemies; we are called not to seek revenge but to forgive. This is the supernatural call that each follower of Christ has: to become more and more like Christ himself – Love.
And so, I am human becoming. I am not content with my level of “I” now, I have to become a better me, and there is no better me than becoming more like Christ.
This brings me to my own personal experience of betrayal, of trust and friendship. I was angry because I was not treated with respect as a person. I was angry because forgiveness was tarnished. I got depressed because I can’t accept that some things refuse to change (for the better). But with acceptance, an invitation to forgive more, and self-transcendence I am brought to inner freedom. He who has eyes, see. He who has ears, hear.
There are people who refuse to grow, to become human. And there are worse people who refuses to be helped. That in their fear of being taken in, they do not allow themselves to be taken out, that not even God can help them.