The focus of the month is the question: What is a person? It seems obvious enough that a question need not be asked. But throughout history and even in the world as it is now, persons have been deduced to less than persons. During the holocaust, persons were assigned numbers like bar codes, treated like resources and slaves, things to be discarded. One might say it doesn't happen now, and yet sadly it does. In the Philippines, we are given the stats of how many drug pushers and drug users there supposedly are, and we are told the poorest victims of this war on drugs are killed because they are "low-hanging fruits" and the innocent nothing more than "collateral damage". All over the world, nonhuman animals are treated like things, slaughtered by the billions every year, their consciousness and awareness completely disregarded.
We as a human race have been deducing persons to "less than" in many different ways. One group feels more superior to another group, and this disconnection comes out in these expressions: sexism, misogyny, heterosexism, racism, speciesism etc. And as long as there is disconnection, we will keep putting down the other as "just a Jew" or "just a woman" or "just a drug user" or "just an animal", we will keep being at war with ourselves, and we will keep destroying each other.
The way out of this war, both internal and external, is to start experiencing your own personhood. This soul that has arrived in this particular body in this particular lifetime with this particular set of circumstances make up the person that you are. This is you. You are a person. You matter. When you fully embrace this, you see this same personhood in others, as they have arrived in their particular bodies in their particular sets of circumstances. They are persons. They matter. And then, no matter what numbers or figures or statistics we are bombarded with, we see persons as persons, not as things, not as machines, not as trash, not as property, not as slaves. And no matter how similar or different they are from us, we see persons as persons, not to be used, not to exploited, not to be abused, and not to be killed.
A person exists in any being who breathes and lives, and all persons deserve happiness and freedom. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all persons be happy. May all persons be free.