Let's quote yours truly, preserving something of the dour formatting of the original venue for the sake of nothing in particular :
Am I a person ? Or am I just a thing ?
LordMPofTMSR's Writing 37M Master (San Jose, Costa Rica)
Journal Entry | 1 Loves It | about 23 hours ago
The question is a perfectly valid one ; if you've asked yourself whether you're a person or not quite before you can rest easy : your brain is functioning correctly.
If you never have there's exactly two possibilities : either you're much, much too young to be here, or else you're very, very severely developmentally delayed.
Just like normal, healthy boys and girls get certain bodily changes with the onset of puberty, just so normal, healthy brains ask some questions with the onset of puberty. If yours hasn't... well...
Developmental delay is, of course, regrettable. The reason it is regrettable, however, is specifically and quite strictly that it can't simply be wished away. Developmental delay negatively, and permanently, affects the prospects and future flow of the afflicted's life. Sucks, huh.
Contrary to what you might've been manipulated into unexaminedly believing, the question is not automatically answered. You're not a person merely for the asking, or merely for existing, or merely for drawing breath. Both a gramophone and a television set can (and do) "ask" questions while remaining entirely disinterested in the answers. This half-assed asking doesn't make gramophones nor television sets persons. All sorts of things exist, including chairs and cups. Their existence doesn't enact them into personhood. All engines draw air from the atmosphere, yet this peculiarly close approximation of the living still doesn't make an engine a person.
Instead, the question happens to have a very simple answer : if what I say could change who you are, then you're a person. If however nothing I say could change who you are, you're just a thing -- precisely like the chair you're sitting on, or any of numerous cups of coffee available, or the assortment of engines in the parking lot.
So : if you already know what's what, if you sit on a raftload of preconceived nonsense and pre-decided bullshit, if you've got a three-ring binder of "company policy" at the ready -- you're a thing, a mere object, about as interesting to other people as a drawing of a bone is to the average dog. (And yes they can tell. Of course they can tell. What, you thought it's not obvious ?!)
If you're trying to figure things out, and not merely pretending to, if what you hear can (not necessarily does, but necessarily can) change who you are, then welcome aboard, you're a person just like the rest of us!
So now you know.
'Twas said, somewhere among the endless sprawling "pages" of the all-text that
[...] history can readily be re-read without missing a drop as a lengthy string of stories of people and groups aiming for a status that has little to do with their aim.
Naive children become doctors "to save lives" or lawyers to "fight for truth" and end up cynically working the grind, such as it is. Indeed the moral notions that send the average 17 year old to law school are quite unmappable on the ethics observed in the average lawyer, and MDs working 18 hours shifts and killing their patients "because it's what's done" are quite a far cry out from the intellectual independence you'd imagine to see from the members of a medieval guild that to this day are pretentious enough to swear an oath.
People generally wish to be rich for all sorts of reasons and mental constructions that scarcely survive the transformative process which becoming rich entails, why'd a society be any different ?
I went to Costa Rica for pride and stayed for the climate, the US Army went into the Gulf for the oil and stayed for fear, things change. Of course they do, and what part of this'd be at all disputed ?
I went there to take and I ended up giving! Do you realise this is the absolutely first time I ever published a snippet that long on a venue I didn't specifically owni ?! Ye olde discussion of corruption as carried in the Republic is very much apropos -- here I stand, having been corrupted in the strictest of senses. It's not that I wrote 100%ii of the content of Fetlife for the past week, month, however long you have -- it's that an epsilon of my overwhelming, deluvional manufactory of ideal products ended up "contributed" as they call it. Sure, on a large enough time horizon all things happen once, you could say that. Say it, what do I care.
"The man that goes and the man that comes is not the same man at all", or however that went. What can you do ?
PS. Oh, you thought I got "banned", or shall we call it "just-average-guy-with-great-sense-of-humour-apostrophe-d" ? Sorry to tell you sir, but... not in this life. It's just not possible, see, nothing "bad" in the sense an dork'd expect can possibly happen to me (or for that matter to anyone else). I trust you understand why.———