Adonis Diaries

Are you talking of an individual or a person?

Posted on: May 4, 2012

Are you talking of an individual or a person?

It is important to weight the innuendo of your terms in writing and in speaking.  It is good to start differentiating between an “individual” and a “person”: They project different meanings in the collective mind.

Confusing the individual (the Greek atom) of a living biological entity with passions, with the person endowed with spiritual and moral value system is very harmful in disseminating a line of thinking.

Confusing the individual (the subject in experiments) with the person leads to considering individuality as a mass of numbers to be used statistically for commercial and financial interests, projects, and material planning…

Confusing the individual with the person confound liberal capitalism with materialist communism, both of them viewing mankind as means for instituting absolute ideologies, based on abstract notions and fundamentally founded on the abstract individual that has no mind of his own and no will of his own…The individual is thus abstracted and good to be used and abused as any object (living or inanimate).

The more we tend to confuse the two terms, the more frequent is the habit of subjugating communities in the name of the power-to-be political system.

Becoming a “person” with a complex system of moral values, and positions on “what is life”, and “what is death”…is not an automatic transition from the state of individual with huge ego to a community member wishing the good entente and reconciliation among the “cluster” of individuals…

Becoming a person is a community undertaking, starting with the extended family, that nurture the basic individual into a responsible citizen, teaching him that he is entitled to freedom of expression, and questioning authority figures, and voting, and paying taxes…

Becoming a person is a community undertaking to learn to respect the living, their dignity, their spiritual needs, their customs, their opinions…

A dead individual is not the same as a dead person: The value added to mankind can be measured on a logarithmic scale of magnitude…

Life is series of contradictions and passions, evolving by the day…Life is not a philosophical or mathematical unifying structure in order to judge people on how they behaved long time ago: Stay attune and alert to time change, to the most current development, and base your opinion on the emerging changes in the “person”.

Note: The essay was inspired from a section of the interview that Carlos Catania conducted with late Ernesto Sabato and published in a book “Between the letter and the blood

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