How Important Is Our Personhood?

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It doesn’t happen to me very often, but this week I had an encounter with an pretty nasty person. In fact, this person was so nasty that it has caused me to think hard about people who go out of their way to cause others difficulties.

We live in a city on the East coast and like many other cities, have had a lot of snow. Most of us have to park on the street and we have learned to squeeze three cars in spaces most people would only try to park two. We know that if we are careful, everyone usually gets a place to park. The snow has taken our parking places down by about 1/3 and those of us who get home late have to park blocks and blocks away. Not fun on a cold night, especially if you are toting groceries.

This person I mentioned took up two parking places for five days (no one knew whose car it was) even though someone had left a note on the car. Now the note wasn’t bad but it did have an edge to it. When the neighborhood found out whose car it was, someone approached her in person. Upon being asked to move her car, she was incensed. She said if the note had been nice, she would have moved it. Since that time, about three weeks now, even though she is the only person in her household she has consistently parked her two vehicles over four spaces. Despite attempts to mend this situation, she refuses to speak to anyone.

This is not about me. This is not about parking spaces. This is about how important our personhood is. Here is a person who probably has a long history of being wounded. She’s angry and wants to let people know she is somebody. If she had a good sense of self-worth, she would have said, “Geez-sorry, let me move it.”

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Our personhood, our soul, is given to us by God; this should be important enough in itself to remind us that hurting another person or ourselves is degrading and destructive. And it has a long tail…..

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