Yes the original saying is “man of parts,” but this being an egalitarian blog I decided to add in a little political correctness (oh no say it ain’t so) to the phrase. Sadly I think it does lose the Elizabethan historical connotations in the updating, but sometimes you need to also grow with the times. Or so they tell me.
Now why all of a sudden is this saying important? Actually I blame it on Baroness Margaret Thatcher (a true friend of the United States) and a little Facebook discussion. We were talking about how many people simply do not like her due to one policy or another. I mentioned that a person is not a product of one event or one policy. But that the legacy of an individual should be written in their entirety. Just as the legacy of a nation should be taken as a whole, not through singular events. Human beings err. It is not the fact that they err at issue, it is how they handled the error and what they did for society in total during their lifetime. Who were they and what were they? Did the sum of the good out way the bad? Did they make certain that others looked back and learned from mistakes made or did they carry on as if nothing had happened?
When a great leader passes from the world stage it is time to reflect on your own reality. So I teach the boys that they are the “sum of their parts.” They are not just one thing but an amalgamation of eons of evolution, thought, liturgy, education, societal development and above all conscience. We, “persons of parts,” are taught to be people of conscience.
Conscience that keeps us glued to the TV for some answers about evil and trying to parcel out the thought processes of those that seem to lack the very essence of compassion. A conscience that demands answers for the murder of innocents yet knows that if there is an answer it will not suffice. For those who have a conscience cannot understand the evil perpetrated in Boston or in other cities around the globe that have been stricken by terror. (We cannot understand how the world cannot come up with a definition of terror either.)
We do not fathom those who excuse this evil (including some governments who appease this blight on humanity or scurry away in fear). For they are not “persons of parts.” They are devoid of that which makes us all human after all, the human essence that raises us up above the snake. The understanding of right, wrong, love, kindness, joy, happiness and true life’s fulfillment. Those that cause terror are devoid of that understanding of the human soul. Theirs is a warped ideology, for who truly loves death over life? Who thinks no matter what the circumstance that killing is a good thing, albeit sadly sometimes a necessary right of survival?
“Persons of parts” do not party nor embrace the cult of death. “Persons of parts” do not hand out sweets and celebrate when death comes barreling into their “enemies” world. “Persons of parts” understand the concept of necessary evil, and pray that we never have to face the reality of its chimera. That is the reality of a good and decent people. It is the gray in our world of absolutes. Gray areas are hard and relentless. They are the nadir of our conscience. They are the nadir of a “person of parts.”
It is how you handle that nadir that says more about you as a human being, a person of conscience, someone with a soul, than any amount of politicking, allegiance or philosophy. For when you review your world you can never say “I was told to do thusly….” “Just following orders” will no longer suffice.
For we, as “persons of parts,” are our choices. In fact our essence revolves around how we handled these outcomes from our choices. For we are individuals. Persons of parts. Imbued with the strength to choose our own path. It is how we chose to deal with the aftermath of such overwhelmingly violent hatred that says more about our nation, our people, the city of Boston and the world (just like after 9/11) than any bomb, terror or act of war ever could.
We are not a feeble lot the United States of America. Especially the city of Boston, which began our nation’s journey into freedom. I wonder what Boston’s Sons of Liberty would be doing today? I am certain they would be standing at the ready to defend liberty, freedom and the independence of conscience. I wonder what Margaret Thatcher, someone who fought terror on her own terms, would say to her friends in the United States, “Stiff upper lip Yanks” ….. never let the unconscionable decide your future.