Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society

Short Story

The story, which I want to share here, is the struggle faced by a family at the time of migrating from the sub-urban place of California to the vastness and the lonely island of San Francisco. The story is similar to Book of the Year, “This Is My Song”, where both the fight for justice and the importance of family has been well portrayed. I have given the book name “My Journey, My Life” through which I have tried to focus on a woman who has sacrificed all of her qualities for her children so that they can get a better life. “Aura”, the woman has got married at the age of 24na became the mother of two children, one daughter, and one son at the age of 27. Her husband during that time works in a warehouse of a retail company and they belonged to a very low middle-class family.

However, at the age of 35, her husband has been hit by a car badly and this is the reason, his left side was paralyzed due to a very bad injury in his backbone. From that time at the age of 35, Aura’s struggle period started where she had tried to get a job for her, which can only be possible if they can shift from that town to a city. Since they belonged to a lower class in society, she was rejected from many workplaces. She had a good sense of art and when her husband god for work, after the homework, she often draw colorful pictures of nature, animals, humans, etc. During that time, she never knew that one incident would discolor her life forever. In the new place, Aura has struggled for a long time to get a good job there like working as a maid in someone’s house at least to feed her family twice a day. Through this book, the damage, the traumas along with hope have been ell replicated.

Personal reflection and link with the Book of the year and with three principles of CST

Catholic Social Teaching defines Catholic doctrines on certain aspects of human dignity and for doing the common good for society. The prime focus of Catholic Social Teaching depends on three aspects that are human dignity, subsidiarity, and solidarity. Through “My Journey, My Life”, certain principles of Catholic Social Teaching needed to be taken into consideration that is considering human dignity where the human beings often being treated as the sacred or holy thing (Centre for Social Concerns, 2020).

Through this, the belief is that the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the fundamental principle of social teaching. This can be related to the struggling life of Aura where she had sacrificed all her likeness and good qualities and have worked as a house cleaner in someone’s house to earn her daily bread and for her family. In this situation, as part of the CST teaching, the homemaker of the particular society and the community as well where Aura was living could help the woman in finding a good job for her, which can be related to her artistic talent. He could sell her paintings to some people who are fond of paintings and could earn good money. This portion is somewhat relatable with the book “This is my song”, where also the loneliness, the separation of the family, and the struggle has been portrayed in a different style. However, the meaning and the ultimate message to the audience from both of the stories are identical or similar (Pagnucco & Ensalaco, 2014).

Another important CST principle which also turned out to be important in this context is the participation which states all the people like Aura exclusive of caste, religion, and the race is having equal right in participating in the economic, cultural as well as political life of the society where they can be able to reproduce their self-decision (Sison, et al., 2016). Through this, the minimum level of participation can be guaranteed to all the people of society where they can be able to perform their duties and responsibilities for the community betterment as a whole and at the same time to get the proper treatment. This in turn will also help in the promotion of peace in the community (Sison, et al., 2016). Peace can be defined as per Catholic teaching, a fruit of justice, and is dependent upon the right order among human beings. This idea is the same as that of Book of the Year, “This Is My Song”, where the actions and the interactions that are the connections and the communications between the families with the outside world have not been portrayed well (USCCB, 2011).

The last CST principle that needed to be explained here is the role of government through which the positive moral function among human beings can be objectified. Here the government’s role is in promotion of the human rights and building the common good. During the time of “This Is My Song”, the active participation of any higher authority of the State might be the Government had to be concerned enough in assisting the citizens in fulfilling the society’s responsibility and the common good. It is always the responsibility of the government to work down to earth and for the people who are needy and require certain help and assistance. Through this, the generation of mutual respect along with the promotion of human dignity and fulfilling basic human desires are some of the important checks to be looked into (Wright, 2017).

As a whole, the above three CST principles are highly needed by the community to get stronger daily which can only be possible through certain actions and interactions and also through positive communication methods. This way, the vulnerable sections of the society and along with that the work dignity and the respect for a human can also be generated well which is treated as the foundation of CST principles. This is the best way in reshaping the societal culture and likewise promoting the greatest good for the individuals. Thus for the healthy community, human respect and encouragement to make every individual participate in the decision-making system will be the primary criteria where also both of the moral and the ethical dimensions should not be ignored (USCCB, 2011). In short, through this the ultimate peace can get evolved “Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements” and this can only be done and made possible through the development of decent fair wage system so that the joint unions can get organized well (Wright, 2017).

References for The Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

Centre for Social Concerns, 2020. An Introduction to the Principles of Catholic Social Thought. [Online] Available at: https://socialconcerns.nd.edu/content/introduction-principles-catholic-social-thought

Pagnucco, R. & Ensalaco, M., 2014. “Human Rights, Catholic Social Thought and the Liberal Rights. Minnesota: Liturgical Press.

Sison, A., Ferrero, . I. & Guitián , G., 2016. Human dignity and the dignity of work: Insights from Catholic social teaching. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4), pp. 503-528.

USCCB, 2011. Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions. [Online]
Available at: https://www.usccb.org/resources/sharing-catholic-social-teaching-challenges-and-directions

Wright, K., 2017. The principles of Catholic social teaching: A guide for decision making from daily clinical encounters to national policy-making. The Linacre Quarterly, 84(1), pp. 10-22.

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