On Wednesday October 3 I went to Father Paul Locatelli's speech on the significance of justice in today's globalizing world. Father Locatelli is a Jesuit who is the President of Santa Clara University in California and the secretary of the Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education. His lecture mainly focused on the globalization that is occurring in today's world.
One of the main themes that Father Locatelli was talking about was the amount of poverty that exists in today's society. He spoke of how he has been going on trips to El Salvador for the past twenty years to do service. There are many problems in places like El Salvador, and going to a place like this to help other people can change a person's view of the world. There are not only problems like this in foreign countries, but even some places in the United States of America. After Katrina swept through New Orleans, there were a great amount of people who were in poverty, some who still are. Also in areas in Tennessee and West Virginia there are people living in poverty, and I know this from personal experience.
After my sophomore year of high school, I went to Tennessee on a service trip with two teachers from my school and about ten other students. The purpose of the trip was to work with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house for someone who could not afford one on their own. In the year prior to the trip, I had asked my family for donations, baked for bake sales at school, and tried almost anything to raise money for the trip. As a school we raised $40,000, which was enough to sponsor one whole house. My school sent six different groups of students to Tennessee that summer, and as a school we were able to completely pay for, and build, a house for a single mother who did not have the money to buy her own place to live.
After my junior year of high school I went on a similar service trip. This trip went to a poor area in West Virginia. This trip we worked with a different organization, called Nazareth Farm. This organization helps to repair houses for those who can not afford it. I went with two teachers and five other students. We slept in the upstairs of a barn, where it was freezing cold in June. There were other students from other parts of the United States doing the same thing that we were. Every day of the week we went to a different house to help repair it. I remember two of the houses needed new roofs, so I worked on a roof two of the days. One of the houses was getting a small extension put on, so that day I was helping paint. There were a few other houses that had different problems with them, but all of them had people working on them every day of the week until they were fixed. These are both clear example of not only what Father Locatelli was talking about but also the Jesuit mission. He was talking about how we have to be committed to the betterment of society by individuals in order to fashion a more humane and sustainable world, and how people of our generation have to become citizens that can better the world. The Jesuit mission is to be men and women for others, and thats what I have personally done by going on service trips like i have.
Father Locatelli ended his talk by giving us a few tips on how we can help to overcome poverty. The first thing he said is that we need to use knowledge to help us overcome poverty and inequality. He then spoke of how technology and science leave out all of the people that are in poverty, because they can not afford any of it, so we need to find a way to make that better. The thing he ended on was how we need to make the culture of life a part of education, so everyone will have a better understanding of everything that goes on in an entire culture.
Everything that Father Locatelli spoke of all can be connected with the teachings of the Jesuits. The main theme of this talk was the significance of justice in todays globalizing world, which is a message that Father Locatelli is trying to spread. In the beginning of his speech i did not fully understand what he was trying to say, but by the end I realized what he was talking about, and I agree that it is extremely important to future generations to teach them about today's globalizing world.