Reflection: “I-Thou”

By John Gio Jastia

Life is a dialogue.

According to Martin Buber, “I-Thou relationship” is a pure encounter of the self with the other. The “thou” or the other is known without being subsumed. They are not reducible to spatial and temporal characteristics. In other words, the other is not just an object but like a reflection of the self.  The “I” and the “other” exist and establish a relationship with each other but, how they treat each other depends on how they live their personal lives.  This could be done through disregarding others first, then seeing life completely separated from the other.  Looking within the self, the looker sees the “I” which is his self. Then only the realization from the “I” that the other is seen completely as a mirrored-like manifestation of itself which then may create a sense valuing of the other. Hence, the value of the other is founded on the truth perceived within the self.

Truth to the self matters most because it is the foundation of every relationship. If one doesn’t go back within, the truth about the self can only be seen as shallow as others see it.There must be the fullness of the “I” or the “self” for steadies the being. The fullness of being is knowing one’s self which is knowing every limitations and capacity.

There must be the fullness of the “I” for it steadies its being. The fullness of being is knowing one’s self which is knowing every limitations and capacity.

The fullness of the “I” steadies being. The fullness of being is knowing one’s self which is knowing every limitations and capacity.

Having the fullness of being liberates man from his insecurities and uncertainties that hinder us to fully know and participate in the “other”. For example, I am a dark toned guy and I am insecure with being because of that I lack the confidence of my being and every time I join the group of white or fair skinned people, my insecurities push me not to participate to the other and it is because I have attained the fullness of myself. Hence, the fullness of the “I” creates more freedom with no worries and insecurities.

Secondly, the world is composed of men not only by a man and us as “I” and the “other” create the world because of our relationship we build. We broaden our perspectives in life every time we came to meet the “other” and knowing the other and the fullness our world depends on how we treat the “other” and it is by treating them as a being who are also the same with us as a being. Thus it is by treating them as a being strengthens our relationship with the other. And the relationship is very important because if the relationship is good, it creates freedom, security and a happy living. A master cannot have loyal servant if he treats his servants only as slave objects but the master can gain the trust of his helpers if he himself treat them as human beings. The more we interact and attend to the other the more we attain the fullness of ourselves and the fullness of living in this world.

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