This summer, I am excited to work on three key issues that are diverse, but share the overarching goal of promoting human dignity for all of God’s creatures. To have a hand working toward migrant rights, the rights of those who are considered objects by their captors, and God’s most fundamental gift to us- the Earth, I consider myself blessed. These are all issues that I am passionate about, and I know that I will learn a lot this coming summer about myself, and the following issues.
Catholic Social Teaching tells us, “Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.” To me, this can be applied to those from other countries that seek economic and other opportunities in the United States. We live in a land of opportunity and resources at our disposal that some only dream of. Unfortunately, our society sometimes views those who seek temporary or permanent residence in our country as a drain on national resources. Instead, I believe that we should reframe the conversation of migration to be one that recognizes those who come to the United States as our neighbors, deserving of the same human dignity that we bestow upon our own.
In the case of human trafficking, we know that every person has the right to human decency, and we cannot possibly live in a society where these needs are not met. To me, human decency is the recognition that a person cannot be bought or sold as property and doing everything we can to make sure this phenomena is stopped. Being from San Francisco, a city where human trafficking rates are at an all-time high, I know that human trafficking is a problem across the nation. The problem is, not many people recognize this problem or believe it is something that can be stopped. In keeping with Catholic Social Teaching, we must realize our responsibility to speak for others who can’t speak for themselves.
The environment and the world we live in is God’s greatest gift to us, as it contains all human life and the resources that we need to survive. Unfortunately, our tendency as a human race is to forget about how our habits will affect future generations as well as those creatures that fall victim to our choices. We must act now to stop our dependence on unsustainable industries that put people in danger of health risk throughout the globe. Whether these are large changes such as developing more sustainable energy alternatives or small ones such as carrying a re-usable water bottle, any advancement in this area are quintessential to protect the future of our planet.
Although focusing on all of these topics will be a large undertaking for just one summer, I see this as just the beginning of my own journey seeking change for these issues. I am excited to get started and to see where my work on these issues will lead.