Dignity of the Human Person (The human person is what matters most!)
The human person is loved by God infinitely and created in God’s own image. Moreover, God in Christ is united with every human being through the incarnation. All these mean that each one of us has a special dignity and this principle forms the basis of the whole social teaching. Every human person is of infinite dignity. It implies that the human being should never be treated as a “means to an end”.
All have equal dignity with one another – no person or group of people is of greater or less worth than others. All of society must be directed towards the well-being of the human person.
Looking around us
There are many messages in our world today that tells us how our appearances should look like, what to wear, what to eat, what to do and even how to measure our self worth. Can we recall some of these?
Many of these are so often heard that we take them as the norm. When we encounter people around us – in our homes, our neighbourhood, our schools, workplace and different public areas – do we treat all with the same respect and dignity? Or do we view or treat some groups of people better than others? Why? What guides us in our respect and treatment of ourselves and others
Let us reflect
- Genesis 1:26-31 God created man and woman in his image
- Proverbs 22:2 The Lord is the maker of both rich and poor
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 You are holy, for you are God’s temple and God dwells in you
- 1 John 3: 1-2 See what love the father has for us, that we should be called Children of God
- 1 John 4: 7-12 Let us love one another because love is from God
From our social teachings… (CSDC)
145 Only the recognition of human dignity can make possible the common and personal growth of everyone (cf. Jas 2:1-9). To stimulate this kind of growth it is necessary in particular to help the least, effectively ensuring conditions of equal opportunity for men and women and guaranteeing an objective equality between the different social classes before the law.
Also in relations between peoples and States, conditions of equality and parity are prerequisites for the authentic progress of the international community.
Together with equality in the recognition of the dignity of each person and of every people there must also be an awareness that it will be possible to safeguard and promote human dignity only if this is done as a community, by the whole of humanity.
Only through the mutual action of individuals and peoples sincerely concerned for the good of all men and women can a genuine universal brotherhood be attained; otherwise, the persistence of conditions of serious disparity and inequality will make us all poorer.
Let us take some time to reflect on what our faith is saying in relation to the above-mentioned issue.
Suggestions for action
How can we understand and apply the above teaching of our faith in our lives – in our relationships and how we relate/treat others around us?
Were there instances when we did not respect the dignity of another?
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