What does it mean to actually be a person? Everything you see, touch, smell, taste, or hear, has a tangibility to it that is sensed with the body and implies its existence. If you see a glass of water, it is because that glass is sitting on the table top, filled to the brim with water. If you hear birds singing, it is because there is a robin in the tree, serenading the dewy mornings. Humanity is the one exception to this type of sensation.
With humanity, the body we can see is a crucible and nothing more. It takes food and water to make nourishment. But what is before you is just a container. It is just that vessel in which something else is held. Inside that receptacle is the real treasure. This something is precious, perfect, pure, and infinite. It is what makes us who we are and gives us our personalities, likes, aspirations, motivations, dreams, loves, and desires.
This essence touches the lives of everyone around us, creating joy and love, warmth, and connection. These bonds last long after the crucible is cold and no longer taking food and water; the bonds will persist as a testament to who we are and what we have done. They are the legacy that we will all leave behind. Our bodies grow old and tired, fading into time like rocks weathered smooth on some long, meandering stream bed called life.
In that way, we are separate from our physical selves. Long after the hearths are fireless and the tables are cleared, the bonds will stand for eternity. The lives we change will forever bear our fingerprints and act as witness to the thing once held inside that physical vessel, long since cast aside for something that religions and prophets have attempted to describe for thousands of years and that science has yet to truly comprehend.
In summary, you are you, not because of your skin color, the value in your stock portfolio, the length of your hair, the type of clothes you wear, or the job that you do. You are you because of the love you inspire, the relationships you spin, the memories you paint with others, and the stories that others will tell long after your body is gone. The body is temporary and limited in being, but we are all eternal in existence. We are all part of one another as a member of the human condition, and we will persist in the hearts and minds of our friends, family, and neighbors. We will all dwell in the photographs, words, recordings, and memories of everyone who shared in our existences forever.
So while I am here with my father, and his body is struggling against the stream of time, I must constantly remind myself that what I see before me is sad, tragic, and unfair, but ultimately, something that will not take him away from me. The precious things I must not let go of are the love, memories, and experiences that I shared with him. Read the full post... about Who are we?