It no longer comes as a surprise that there is too much negativity and selfishness in the world. But it’s not something that happened overnight; rather, it’s a societal behavior that was honed through time because more people prioritized their desires and needs than chose to contribute to the greater good.
But it’s difficult to take that against them, especially if everyone around them has given up on creating a better community for themselves. Besides, it’s much easier to focus on your personal needs and desires than to think about what can benefit more people in the long run. Hence, the selfishness.
You can’t blame people for losing hope in humanity, not when the crime rates are high, discrimination is rampant, and altruism no longer seems to exist. But just because negativity and selfishness are thriving doesn’t mean it can’t be reversed. Change is still possible, especially within the community.
Spirituality is important now more than ever. People need to believe in a purpose that’s bigger than themselves so that they can be motivated to prioritize what can benefit the greater good. And this can begin once people start adopting the various principles of Catholic social teaching.
But what is Catholic social teaching? Why is it essential to community building and creating stronger relationships within the community? To answer your questions, you must first understand the three principles that serve as the foundations of the teaching, which include:
Among the three principles, human dignity occupies the most important spot, followed directly by solidarity and subsidiarity. Therefore, it’s safe to say that human dignity is the focus of Catholic social teaching because it’s a fundamental human right that no one, not even the government, can take.
But contrary to popular belief, human dignity is important not only because it serves as the foundation for Catholic teaching but also because it instills that every person has a unique value that external factors can’t dampen. This understanding of human beings will then create mutual respect within a specific community.
People are at the core of every community. Their interconnected relationships make the community stronger and worth fighting for, ergo the essence of solidarity. No man is indeed an island; people need other people in their day-to-day routines just as much as they need solitude.
Solidarity is rooted in the interdependence of community members on one another. Since they understand the value that each individual holds and what they contribute to society, they’ll find it much easier to work towards achieving solidarity for the greater good instead of focusing on their personal gain.
In a nutshell, subsidiarity’s primary goal is to find common ground between individual desires and the needs of the community. There must be a balance between the two because that’s the only way that order can be reinforced without obstructing the people’s freedom and dignity.
Subsidiarity hopes to return the power to make decisions that affect them back to the people rather than leave it in the hands of those at the top. This way, the members of the community can participate and contribute to the common good without letting those at the top get in the way of their freedom or dignity.
What Is the Role of These Principles in Community Building?
If each community member embodies these principles and participates in the decisions that directly affect them, they can create a harmonious community. Of course, there’s no such thing as immunity against potential misunderstandings. But because there is mutual respect between one another, they can still reach a compromise that will benefit the greater good.
All these principles must work hand-in-hand before anyone can reap the rewards that they can give to society. Once this intermingling of core principles is reached, it can benefit the main community where it is practiced and the cultures, politics, and economics that arise from their communities.
Thousands of communities make up a whole country, which means that all the individuals belonging to these small communities have the power to create the change they want to see in the world. But since their impact isn’t as noticeable on such a large scale, people easily get discouraged and just stop trying to exert effort.
But this is what needs to be changed in society. By creating stronger bonds within the community, there will be a much higher chance of having a more accepting, inclusive, and positive society. But that means that each person has to participate in social interactions, especially for the decisions that can affect them.