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Who You Are

Suppose that I hold a DVD of a movie in my hand.  Let’s say “The Matrix”.  That DVD means something to me that is different than to anyone else in the world.  Let’s say someone from 1,000 years ago holds it. It means something different to him or her.  Now say the person who manufactured the DVD is holding it, or the producer “The Matrix”.  The DVD never changes, but what it is thought to represent, how it would be described, changed from person to person.

Not just person to person though, because “when” I am holding it, “why” I am holding it, and “what my surroundings are”, all change what I think. Maybe I am unwrapping it at Christmas or throwing it in the garbage, or maybe I am in the middle of the road, with a semi coming at me.  If I have just opened the DVD at Christmas, it might seem very important, but with a semi-truck barreling down the road at me, my opinion changes.

So the perspective is always different, you could say that the “relationship” between you and the DVD changes.  Of course, your perspective of a DVD is trivial, but this applies to everything.  Your perspective of, well, everything is constantly changing, and to a degree, how it changes is determined by your surroundings, and events you can’t control.

If you were born 1,000 years ago in North America, you would not be Christian, you would have never heard of evolution, and a few shiny beads would blow your mind.  If your father had been Bin Laden, how would that likely change your opinion of him? Of the U.S.? What if your father was Hitler? Jesus had siblings, so, what if Jesus was your biological brother?

It’s not always so dramatic though. If a member of a family has an accident and dies, that event will affect a whole family. But each member will be affected differently and will deal with the loss differently because of their ages, their relationship to the one who died and other factors.

A person may have suffered permanent brain damage at birth caused by a doctor’s error.  They could have grown up perfectly normal if their birth had occurred a few hours later and landed on a different doctor’s shift.

These sorts of event, along with where we go to school or church, how much money we have, etc. are all like a big long mathematical equation.  When you add it all up, it defines you in that moment in time.

Humans might have free will, the ability to choose in situations, but they don’t choose who their parents are, or which century they are from and even what beliefs will be instilled in them.

You yourself would be a completely different person with a fundamentally different belief system and set of morals if you were born in a different century, different country or even a few seconds later or lived in the house next door.

 So, if you would be so different from what you are, how can you be angry or hateful towards someone who thinks differently than you?  How can you have anything but compassion?  From the perspective of God directing our lives, I think my point remains the same: How can you have anything but compassion for any immoral person, even Hitler or a gay person, or people who do harm to you personally? 

Logan Montgomery,
Dec 4, 2010, 3:50 PM