Is It Good To Exist After All?
Abortion, genetic discrimination, euthanasia — these are just some of the issues of our time that lead people to a general sense of precariousness about whether it is good to exist.
These practices involve actions that are tantamount to saying, “I do not want you to be.”
The philosopher and theologian Augustine reportedly defined love as the exact opposite attitude. To love someone is to say, “I want you to be.”
In the twentieth century, we have a similar idea in the thought of Josef Pieper. He describes love as the affirmation one makes to another, “It is good that you are; how wonderful that you exist!'”
Many people are deprived of this love. They are receiving messages from their society, the media, and sometimes even their own families that maybe it isn’t so good that they exist after all.
Reviving a person’s sense of being loved may sound like a demanding task. But each person by each gesture, word, and action has the ability to revive this sense in another.
It was this conviction that drove Cecily Saunders, the founder of modern hospice and palliative care, to imbue her work with each patient with the attitude, ‘You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can to help you not only to die peacefully, but also to live until you die.'”
Against the numerous forms of degradation of the person, our responsibility is to rekindle a sense of the goodness of existence and the value of each life.
Every person belongs. Everyone deserves the best chance at life.
Our 2023 Annual CPL Conference theme will be, “I Want You To Be: Celebrating Life, Encouraging Hope.”
This conference will take place in Ottawa, ON from October 27-29th, 2023.
To be the first to receive early bird registration details, please sign up here.
This post first appeared in Vital Bylines. Sign up below to receive Vital Bylines weekly.