Does a Person’s Past Define them?


Isaiah Smith, Author

 Look at your past. Have you made mistakes, had regrets, said something you wish you could just take back? The answer is most likely yes. If it was from something you’ve done when you were just a little kid, or something you said last week to your friend, we’ve all done things that might have hurt someone else’s feelings. Does a person’s past really define them as a person? Simply no, because if we did it would make us hypocrites.

When I was in 7th grade, one night I saw a post on Facebook and got offended. Instead of doing the right thing and ignore the post, I gave in and said some very nasty things. At the time I didn’t realize what impacts those words really had, and how they could hurt someone’s feelings. Someone who witnessed what was happening in the comment section sent the conversation to my mom and got grounded with an iconic mom lecture. What I wrote doesn’t even compare to who I have become today, and I believe this goes for everyone who has done something wrong, whether yelling at parents, or even murder.

Billions of people have had/has bad habits, if it’s cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, pornography, gambling etc. Instead of trying to help them out with their problem or support their recovery from such a diminishing habit/addiction, people are quick to judge and make them feel like they have no value in the world. But what we should do is support them and help them out as best as we can. For example, Robert Downey Jr. who is a famous American actor who has had several important roles, including Ironman in the Marvel Universe, used to abuse alcohol and drugs, but thankfully recovered. If people determined that he was going to be a druggy or alcoholic from the get-go then he wouldn’t mean anything today, and people wouldn’t look up to him. Mr. Downey Jr. is a great man and serves as a beacon of Hope for people around the world.

If we start judging people off of what had happened in the past and not what they’re doing to try and be a better person, then all you’re doing is stopping growth from that individual. I could sit here and judge myself and others for their past, but that doesn’t do any good for me nor the other person. Look back at  biblical times, where there was this heinous criminal named Saul who hated believers in the Lord. He would go house to house, putting believers in prison so they can suffer and die. Later on, Jesus himself picked out Saul, who changed his name to Paul, to be one of his Apostles and taught about the love of Christ. If Jesus or the people around back then judged him for persecuting Christians and being a greedy man, then he would’ve never grown to be the better person he had become.

In conclusion, we can all sit around and judge ourselves and others for what they’ve done in the past, but that’s not going to go anywhere. A person’s past doesn’t define who they are, and what they are to become.