Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our Moral Obligation

Simply by being Loyola students, we are automatically faced with a moral obligation to uphold the Jesuit ideals of being educated to serve others. At Tuesday night's Green and Gray discussion of Homelessness and Poverty, this moral obligation was brought up by Dr. Snow of the philosophy department. Besides the points that were brought up about the situation of poverty and homelessness in America and Baltimore, I thought it was very benefical to connect this discussion to Loyola students.

Personally, I do feel a moral obligation to help those in need. Without this help, people who are homeless and struggling with poverty cannot better their own situation. The delimma that faces the community and homelessness and poverty is that this situation cannot be resolved without the effort of individuals. Even looking at the bigger picture of the world, not just within poverty, people must be available to help others. No one person can exist solely supporting themselves. This is the crux at humanity's core is that the human race exists as a collective of individuals working together. The homeless and people in poverty are not excluded from their place within the human race, so, in theory, they should always be able to have people around that can help them if needed.

The problem that exists in American society is this balance between solidarity and subsidiarity, which was also mentioned at the discussion on Tuesday night. Living in a capitalist society places an emphasis on the individual, what an individual can do to better themselves, how much money an individual makes, what stuff an individual buys, how that single individual is viewed by others. However, our sense of Catholic solidarity reminds us that we are not alone to live in this world and that we have an obligation to help others. This obligation extends to the people who are in the most need, especially those without homes or the money to fulfill their basic needs, especially considering the amount of people today that are not earning a living wage.

When thinking about my own place within the world, I must remember that my Jesuit education places a moral obligation upon me to help those around me and not be self-centered in my ideals. This is important when being education, because it is this education of the whole person that determines how an individual will view the world. A jesuit education aims to make the individual student aware of the world around them in a way that they will mold and change it into something greater and better.

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