In her essay Evolution Toward Personhood, Ilia Delio writes: “If we relate only to the past deeds of others, we will always be at least one step behind where they themselves presently are and thus we will never really be in relationships with them, only with their ‘remains.’” I’ve never thought of living persons as “remains,” but I can see what Delio means: we tend to deal with persons not as they are now, but as we think they are according to past experiences with them.
When it comes to other persons’ faults, I don’t suffer from memory loss. If I meet a person ten years after they hurt me, I remember the hurt and assume “they haven’t changed a bit.” But haven’t I changed in the past ten years? I trust I’ve become wiser with age. Didn’t they? I’ve learned from experiences. Haven’t they? I hope people take me as I am today, not as my “remains.” May I do unto others as I want them to do unto me.