A Personalist Credo

0
Personalism

I am a person
unique, precious and unrepeatable in worth.
I also inhabit a world of other human persons who are
unique, precious and unrepeatable in worth.
As a person, I expect to be treated as a subject,
not an object.
I am an end in myself,
not merely a means to someone else’s end.
I will not allow myself to be used;
nor will I tolerate abuse.
I will respect my body
as well as the bodies of other human persons.
I will not undermine the dignity of another human being;
because in doing so, I undermine my own dignity.
I will not label others in dehumanizing terms,
because persons are infinitely more
than all labels, classifications or categories.
Except in the context of appropriate humor,
I will not take others “lightly,”
negating their inestimable value as human persons.
I will not reduce my humanity to a color.
Hence, I am not, first, a white person.
Rather, I am a person who is white.
Nor will I reduce my humanity to a function.
Hence, I am not, first, a teacher.
Rather, I am a person who teaches.
Therefore, I am valuable, first and foremost,
because of who I am, not what I do.
I am someone, not something;
a “who,” not a “what;”
begotten, not made.
I am a person.

32 thoughts on “A Personalist Credo

  1. Reading that I would apply my nursing knowledge and use it correctly effectively and ethically. I will never undermine my patient intergity or personal information because I am the professional. I’m still a human being and I will never deviate from doing what’s best for the patient and what I can do as the best ability as being a nurse.

    Like

  2. Rev. Lent,
    This blog spoke to me particularly, I have spent the past several years as a hospice aide and caregiver working in nursing homes as well as homecare. During this time I have really seen the way elderly people are mistreated, and not really respected. This absolutely breaks my heart and is what drives me to want to become a geriatric nurse. I take pride in learning about this unique population and enjoy helping them the best ways I can. They are human, peoples loved ones, and after all, a very big reason why we have the things we have today. As a Nurse, we are taught the skill, the knowledge and the compassion needed but it often seems we forget the compassionate part. The line of your Credo, “As a person, I expect to be treated as a subject,
    not an object” really stuck out to me, it reiterates what I said about Nurses often forgetting to show compassion toward their patients. To me compassion is one of the main parts of caring for a patient, you can teach anyone skill and knowledge but that’s not what makes humans feel human. Love, comfort, compassion, and acknowledgment are what make patients heal especially regarding our elderly. It is my goal, to treat all my patients equal, to listen to them, not judge past or present decisions rather guide them toward the better decision and overall provide competent and excellent care.

    Like

  3. Rev.,
    This poem is very well written. I wish more people in the word had this mindset because it would be more peaceful then it is today. As a nursing student, I feel that this is how we need to act. It disheartens me when I see people with negative attitudes towards others for something so small or something they have no control of, such as a disability. I strive to have a positive attitude all of the time and be nice to everyone that I come into contact with. I went to a Catholic grade school and our mission statement was, “Be Jesus to everyone you meet, and in everyone you meet, see Jesus.” This really impacted the way I talk to people and helped me better myself for my future career.

    Like

  4. As a nurse, you care for others wholeheartedly without any judgment. You treat everyone with the same respect no matter their race or the color of their skin. As a nurse, you work in an environment with all different backgrounds, therefore it is important that you respect their wants and needs as your own. Every one is a human being, and they should be treated as one. As a nurse, the patients is the first and foremost important priority. Each and every person matters.

    Like

  5. As a future nurse making a career or life long commitment to providing care for others, we have to identify with the fact that we are all human no matter our differences. once you have identified that first, advocating and making the right decision for your patients becomes a little easier. This reading helps to identify or to see that one similarity that can’t be denied by any human being. that is the fact that we are all human/a person first. Acknowledging this one simple fact first helps us as future nurses to empathize with our patient to provide the best care.
    Next, the reading says “I will not take others “lightly” negating their inestimable value as human persons”. As a future nurse, we are told to check our feeling at the door. basically, put our feeling and personal difference to the side and treat the person first, the human. When you devalue a patient’s humanity you also devalue yourself as a human. As a future nurse, we have to understand that we come into this business to provide care, love, and value to human life. so as humans, what we do for others we do for ourselves.

    Like

  6. Being a nurse, you will have to care for others no matter what. I think that reading this was very important because overall it says that everyone is a person, and should be treated like a person and treated equally regardless of their differences. As a nurse, I want to have a positive attitude and make my patients my first priority because it will be my job to care for them and make them feel like their life is valuable.

    Like

    1. I like it, Dayna! You are, in other words, talking about indiscriminately caring for your patients, treating them as persons. That, at times, will be hard to do. But in doing so, you are attributing human dignity to them, whether they preserve that dignity or not.

      Like

  7. Rev. Lent,
    After reading this blog, it truly made me think about many things. The main point that stood out to me was that humans are a “who” not a “what”. I strongly believe that most people do not understand this statement. I am confident that I will be able to use this in a hospital setting when I become a nurse. Too often patients are mistreated in places such as nursing homes because their caregivers feel that they are superior to them. I think they forgot that they their patients are human just like they are. Most importantly they forgot that they have feelings. No matter what everyone should be treated with dignity! As a nurse you should treat their patient as a “subject rather than an object.” Regardless of our differences such as our skin or eye color, we are uniquely made. Overall, as a nurse I will acknowledge that my patient is a subject and treat that with dignity. I will be respectful and listen to my patients concerns at all times. Most importantly I will provide competent care.
    Another point I wanted to mention was the point of respecting your body and the body of others. Respecting your body is much more than not having your body covered in tattoos or wearing little clothing. Your body is your temple and it should be protected at all cost.

    Like

  8. I think this poem is well written, and truly gets you to dig deeper on humanity. As a nurse, you have to be compassionate and teach your patients. you also have care for them in order for them to live healthy rewarding lives, even when they can’t care of themselves. Especially in today’s society everyone is judged, and in nursing you can’t judge you have to put any of the biases you have aside, in order fo gain the full experience and understand and connect with your patients, so you can give them the best care as possible. For example is you devalue Your patient for who they’re you are devaluing yourself, because you aren’t giving it your complete best effort. As soon as we realize we are a person just like them the care and need to want to help becomes that much greater when you realize they were once young and vibrant and just like us. Each and everyone matters because they’re people too!

    Like

  9. Rev.,
    First off I would just like to address how much i enjoyed this poem, because it made me look at myself in a different light. In regards to my nursing career, this credo actually points out how the humanity of a nurse should be. When we see people in the hospital most view them as “sick people,” but they are not sick people, they are just a person who happens to be sick at the moment. They are still human, and deserve to be treated rightfully as so. Sometimes we may even treat the patients as less than humans, we view them as a task, not as a person of whom we should help and care for. As nurses, we are the main source of communication with the patient, so we must make them feel as if they aren’t just a task, or an obligation rather make them feel like we want to come in the room and speak to them; take interest in what they’re saying, and how they are. We should take the time to care for our patients, because if not, we’re treating them as if they’re objectives in tasks we have to complete. If the patient feels as if they are not being treated humanely they will shy away from the nurse.

    Specifically a piece I would like to address in your credo is that part which states, “Hence, I am not, first, a white person. Rather, I am a person who is white.” This speaks to me because we aren’t viewing a person based off of their characteristics as defining them as that, we are defining them as a person who happens to be in this case white. When viewing patients we have to be free of judgement and when it comes to helping every patient needed, we can’t say oh they’re “blank” I don’t want to help them because thats what they are. When helping patients we look at them as a person who needs our help and care, not about how we define them.

    Like

  10. Rev,
    I find myself thinking to the ever-popular Serenity Prayer as I read through your Credo. “I will not undermine the dignity of another human being” in particular made me think back to the lesson I always took from it. That you cannot change people, especially (besides some circumstances- namely when they, too want to be changed). Sitting now and processing has made me come to wonder if that is really what many prayers are- credos. I think I may end up developing my own sometime, reading this has brought about a very introspective calm. Recognizing, no, acknowledging the humanity in everyone is something I am lucky to not have experienced the reverse.

    -DJ

    Like

    1. I encourage you to write your own credo, Dylan! We humans, it seems to me, often take humanity for granted. In other words, it is relatively easy to pass by others without the slightest sense of wonder. May you and I be sensitized to the wonder of being human, that another “I” calls us to treat him or her as a “Thou.”

      Like

  11. Dr. Lent,

    First of all, I really like this poem and I feel like it speaks to a lot of people in their own ways. As a nurse, I feel like we need to first remember that they are people and not just sick patients that we are responsible for taking care of. Sometimes, I feel like people tend to forget to treat others with respect as a person due to personal reasons such as being tired, or angry, or something else that may be affecting them at a certain moment. I understand that sometimes our feelings or opinions get in the way of how we act and we forget that other people are people too but it should not be an excuse in any way.

    “I will not reduce my humanity to a color.
    Hence, I am not, first, a white person.
    Rather, I am a person who is white.”

    In nursing, we are taught about cultural competency, cultural considerations, and sensitivity as being part of being able to deliver proper care to our patients. It is said that “All patients, regardless of their race or culture, have the same basic human needs. However, the nurse needs to keep in mind any cultural influences or factors affecting anatomy and physiology, health beliefs, and alterations in health (Taylor 694).” It means that although we need to be respectful of other people’s culture, beliefs, and race, we should all treat them accordingly and equally in terms of looking at them as another person who needs us to help be healthy again. We should not be changing how we treat and help a patient due to their skin color or religion, and thus showing integrity.

    “I will not allow myself to be used;
    nor will I tolerate abuse.”

    Personally speaking, this poem spoke to me in so many ways. But this line is telling me that I should respect myself and stand up for myself whenever someone shows me lack of respect or abuse me in any way. I should know my worth and that I should never tolerate anyone who treats me anything less.

    “I am valuable, first and foremost,
    because of who I am, not what I do.”

    I think out of all that was said, this is my favorite part. It reminds me that even though some people tell me that I am a failure because I haven’t finished college yet or whatever else may be used to finish the sentence…. I am important, regardless of.

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful poem and reminding us that everyone is a person and ought to be treated as one, respected without a label.

    Reference:
    Taylor, Carol, Pamela Lynn, Jennifer Bartlett. Lippincott CoursePoint for Taylor: Fundamentals of Nursing, 9th Edition. CoursePoint, 12/3/18. VitalBook file.

    Like

    1. You have interacted with the credo subjectively, applying it to your life, as well as your patients’ lives. I also wrote the credo so that it can be applied to each person in his or her own way, which is precisely what you did. The credo, then can be applied to anyone, regardless of his or her color, race, religion, sexuality, physical or mental condition, socio-economic status, etc.

      Like

  12. “A Personalist Credo” is an outstanding way to emphasize the power of being human. As simple as being “human” is, the concept is overlooked by many. When studying nursing, it is important to show an abundance of care towards all patients. This credo puts an emphasis on how others can make someone feel. A person is a person and they should be treated that way, always. As a future nurse, this credo gives me motivation to treat every patient with the utmost care.
    Reverend Lent, I truly enjoyed this poem and will continue to look back at it from time to time for some extra motivation or inspiration. Thank you.

    Like

  13. Reverend Lent,

    I love this piece but what suck out to me the most is when you say “I will not label others in dehumanizing terms, because persons are infinitely more than all labels, classifications or categories.” My father is a psychologist and my mother has battled with major depressive disorder for years and she attempted to take her life because of her mental illness when I was younger. Thankfully, my dad found in her time and she is doing much better now. That being said, I am very familiar with the stigma associated with mental disorders. Often times, people label those with mental illness, claiming that is all to them, meaning they are nothing but their disorder instead of a person. Because of the stigma, my mother is often hesitant telling others what happened due to the fear that she will judged based on her disorder and not as a person. Those struggling with mental disorders are often blamed and claimed it is their fault they are the way they are, when in truth, this is not the case at all. Lately, there has been a shift from calling people with mental illnesses their illness to calling them a person with said disorder. For example, it is now more appropriate to say “a person with schizophrenia” instead of “a schizophrenic.” I hope that society continues to shift towards this way of thinking and your piece truly emphasizes the reason why we need to start recognizing others as people, not as their illness, color, religion, function, etc.

    Roberta Slawinski

    Like

    1. Robert, I was “moved” by reading the post about your mom. I am happy that your dad was able to intervene, saving her life.

      Truly, you are right: Your mom is much more than any condition she has, because she is someone, not something; a subject, not an object, a “who,” not a “what;” an end in herself, not merely a means to anyone else’s ends! In short, she is a person.

      Like

  14. I feel like I know so many people that need to read this. One part that stood out to me is “As a person, I expect to be treated as a subject, not an object. I am an end in myself, not merely a means to someone else’s end. I will not allow myself to be used; nor will I tolerate abuse. I will respect my body”. This stood out to me because after I read this section it made me realize that you should come first no matter what. That may seem selfish but it is true. If you don’t put yourself first then you will not be able to be truly happy. Another part that I think a lot of people need to hear is ” will not label others in dehumanizing terms, because persons are infinitely more than all labels, classifications or categories.”. With the way the world is today, I think many people could benefit from hearing this section. Overall this post shows how each person deserves it be treated and that they are more than what meets the eye.

    Like

  15. I was very touched by reading this poem. It really highlighted the power of of being a human being. Being in nursing school is not just about giving medications and completing tasks but it’s also developing a therapeutic technique with your patients. It’s about treating them like a human being with feelings, needs, and wants. Whether they are”patients” or not, they are humans. They deserve respect. They shouldn’t be labeled by their disease or disability. Acknowledging the humanity in a patient or anyone we encounter is an important thing to remember in life.

    Like

  16. Dr. Lent,

    I enjoyed reading the poem, and wish everyone had a chance to read this. It does open the eyes of the reader since most people do not stand up for themselves or are afraid to speak up. You are speaking for every person walking on this planet. From a health professional point of view, you have to see everyone as equal and treat them the way you want to be treated. No one should ever be treated less of a person based on their age, ethnicity, race, or cultural background. In the future when I become an RN, I will continue to treat others with dignity and respect, and would hope others continue to do the same for me. It’s easy to be a part of gossip and get carried away when you hear others talking negatively about someone, but it is up to you to stand up to that and respect others around you. Treating patients as a whole is a crucial mindset to have instead of treating just their problems. After all, we are all the same in the end, we are humans with basic needs and desires. A role of a person does not take away any of their rights or beliefs. This poem takes the word out of the mouths of every person on the Earth and puts it in a well written manner. Thank you for sharing this poem with us, and hopefully others can read it too! It is inspiring and can open the eyes of the modern world as we all know what is happening these days with the new laws.

    Like

  17. Dr. Lent

    Your poem was extremely inspiring and well written. One of the greatest gifts we can give another human being is respect and to treat them as we would want to be treated. People come into each others lives for a purpose and paths cross for a reason so we should treat people with significance and not treat them any less. As a future nurse I plan to treat my patients with respect, dignity, love and compassion. At times people belittle others or make them feel less than human when we should be uplifting one another. After reading this I realize that it is crucial that we know who we are as people and acknowledge first that we are subjects and not objects. Equal does not necessarily mean that we are all the same, we are all different in our own special way however, we have common qualities that make us all humans. Therefore no one should be treated inhumane, instead we all deserve to be treated with dignity no matter our circumstances. Great poem. I hope that others can get the same sense of inspiration that I received from reading this!

    Like

  18. I think that the first two lines speak volumes to the concept of treating others as wholesome as they are. The words “unrepeatable in worth” should teach all professionals, especially medical professionals, to value all people in all contexts. I really take the central portion in my major/profession, as we have been taught the key in using people-first terminology; the example of this being a person first that happens to be white. I believe that everyone should live this way, treating all as people first, and it would lead to more compassion and harmony.

    Like

  19. This poem connects with my personal views on people because I was raised in a Christian household where “You treat people, how you want to be treated.” This small saying has stuck with me throughout my whole life. My outlook on life has changed because of this due to each person is different in their own way. Either with their looks, attitude, personality, religion, and hobbies, everyone deserves to be treated equally. Working with little kids created a personal persona on how people should be treated. Little kids do not judge others by skin color or the way they look. They approach everyone with the same happiness and wholesomeness. That job helped me comprehend that everyone is equally entitled to the same love and compassion given to others.

    Like

  20. Dr. Lent,
    This poem is awesome! I think anyone who interacts with other people on a daily basis throughout their career paths should read this. I already work in health-care, I am a patient care technician and studying to be a future nurse; this poem truly made me think about my patients holistically. Not seeing them as just someone on my list of patients for the shift I am working, but as human beings, that they each have lives outside of the hospital walls, just as I do. Every single person experiences each day differently, and this poem truly capitalizes that we need to treat others how we want to be treated, and see each person as someone deserving of respect and dignity. Just because we all experience each day differently, does not mean we do not impact how other people’s days are perceived. Just a simple smile, act of compassion, spending a few extra minutes in a patients room, getting them that extra blanket; can truly impact that person’s day overall. We all need to remember just because we are at work, does not mean we treat our patients like they are our “work”. We need to treat every single person we encounter just as that, a person. Regardless if that person is sick or healthy, rude or nice, regardless of race, sexuality, religion; we need to treat each person as we want ourselves, our family members and friends to be treated, as people deserving of respect, dignity, humanity, kindness, and compassion.

    Like

  21. To me, this means that every person has value no matter who they are or what they have done. You should always treat people the way that you would want to be treated. Treating each patient with dignity and respect in order to save their lives and treat them properly would be the way that I would want to be treated if I were in need of medical care. This text can be applied to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality and several other factors. Each person deserves to live and their lives should be a priority.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s