Niece: Did anything fun today?
During breakfast at my usual makan place, I decided to go further than just going: “Kira. Berapa ah?“. So this morning, I took the extra effort and asked the cashier whether she lived around here. And she said lived nearby and I also found out at 8am, the route that she takes to work is not congested, which means I can safely use it if I decided to change my route to work too. I stepped out of my comfort zone, that was fun for me… cos I am terrified of talking to people randomly. which is why normally I leave quickly, haha.
And here comes the question my husband indirectly made me study the whole day today:
Husband: What is politics actually? Why do we need it?
I don’t know much about politics. But, politics, I heard from somewhere is for the human person. We need good politics because it champions the life and rights of a human person, to give a human person the right to live fully, especially the poor and vulnerable. It is not for self-gain. A very wise sister once shared to my community these seven themes of the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, I believe it is a very good foundation for politics:
1) Life and Dignity of the Human Person;
This is where we protect life as we look at abortion, euthanasia, IVF, cloning, embryo stemcells, wars and death penalties. I quote Bishop Robert Barron, “Every human being has a purpose, a mission and we are all part of God’s plan”, and Jonathan Reyes, “At the root of our dignity is the right to life, from conception to natural death”. And nations are called to find increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means.
2) Call to Family, Community and Participation;
We called to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all. Society begins from family. We are called to be neigbours helping one another by responding to needs on different levels, not just expecting experts from the outside, but actively participating in making a better world, where we are. We are social beings, we live in relationship with others.
3) Rights and Responsibilities;
It is taking care of another person as myself. Human rights come out from human dignity where we are made in the image and likeness of God. We have a responsibility to contribute to human society, to build up society, to participate and suggest laws, structures, policies and procedures to governments so that people can better attain their human rights, and at the same time we exercise our rights and responsibilities. We are to live more than merely existing, we are to live in abundance as Jesus promises us.
4) Option for the Poor and Vulnerable;
To encounter the poor and vulnerable as a poor person, to encounter those who are marginalised and forgotten in society. To address issues who are driving them to be poor, who are making them poor, and showing love to them by being contact with them directly or indirectly. I think it is also giving them opportunities to grow out of their current circumstances by creating opportunities and workshops to equip and help them to live abundantly. And at the same time we will grow in our own humanity when we encounter the poor and vulnerable.
5) The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers;
To build a just economy is to make decent work at decent wages available for all those capable of working. People work because they want to care for their families. If one could, I don’t think one would even want to work. But they work because they want to live.
Being in relationship with others. Being one human family, seeing and loving another as a brother or a sister, regardless of national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. To be aware of current issues and “go to the root of what makes people suffer, and to do what I can according to my state of life, my expertise to help solve those things”, as said by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. We set priorities to love, then we make time to pray, because prayer leads to action. Together, we grow together and promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
7) Care for God’s Creation
In the book of genesis, God gave Adam stewardship over all creation. In the same way, we are called to responsible stewardship, to take care of this planet we live in. This world is for all of us to enjoy and to sustain our needs. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of Gods creation. We can do this by doing our part where we live in – by making decisions of caring for creation in a more positive way.
Thanks, husband, for making me study this today :*
1) Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
2) Catholic Social Teaching