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Milburn defines Catholic Social Thought (CST) as the expansive religious and communal observation on the civil concerns that occurs in the church. The Catholic Church developed the CST to support some ideals and morals that should guide human behavior. Out of the nine principles that build the CST, four will be discussed in this article, followed by examples of how these principles are evident in the communities that I belong to and in my future profession as a Nurse.
According to The University of Notre Dame, “the common good is the good that comes into existence in a community of solidarity among active, equal agents”. Human beings are social beings, and the common good comes when there is solidarity in helping to solve social challenges. The foundational principle applies especially today when there are high levels of inequalities, and that is affecting the interaction between human beings. The principle encourages individuals to make decisions that will lead to the common good and enhance human fulfillment.
This principle is a fundamental ethical test of how humankind is viewing society from the outlook of the most vulnerable members, whose requirements should be addressed first. The principle does not plan on excluding the other members to focus on the poor, but rather urges to prioritize the needs of the susceptible members of the society. The principle has extended the understanding of the poor and the concept has been embraced by all in the social, economic, and political classes.
According to Catholic teaching, peace is not only the absence of war. Peace is held by integrity and appreciation to human dignity which promotes shared respect and morale among the members of the society at both national and universal levels. The principle advocates for peaceful coexistence among the people by avoiding violent conflicts.
Global solidarity acknowledges that human being as part of one family has the responsibility to advocate for the equal rights of everyone in the community and the larger society. The principle is also responsible for the development of policies and providing resources to the governments to help address the social issues the global community is facing. The principle has been critical, and it led to the formation of global organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The solidarity is used to raise awareness on issues countries are experiencing and ways that can be used to eliminate them in the short and long term. The CST principle has led to increased advocacy, relationship-building, and support for the vulnerable. The world has overcome some issues due to global solidarity, and it will shape how issues are solved in the future.
The common good is evident in society, and there are many instances to prove it. For example, during this COVID-19 pandemic period, the rich have been contributing funds and other resources to help the most vulnerable in Australia. Business owners are capable of humanizing the business market and enhancing human relations when they focus on the common good. During this period, the majority of the businesses were affected, and most people were laid off. Employers have tried to shield their employees and others from the adverse effects and disruption caused by COVID-19. The principle of the common good has made them realize that success can be achieved when everybody plays their collective role. The level of awareness among the people has increased, and the focus has shifted from individual success to communal success. Adoption of the principle has led to success in the fight against some micro and macro issues Australia has been facing, and the principle will be critical in the coming years as more threats emerge.
The principle of ‘Preferential Option for the poor’ is evident in the community and especially among local and territory governments. The agencies have concentrated on developing policies that will help the poor and marginalized in the community. McDonald, Bailie, & Morris highlight that the participatory systems are relying on reliable information to address the underlying poor child health needs among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. These indigenous communities have been facing issues of inclusivity, and that has made them more vulnerable. As a Nursing student, having studied the health issues the Indigenous communities have faced and still facing, focusing on enhancing the health of the children will help in providing better health, social, and economic success for the poor in Australia. There has been the development of indicators and the government has been monitoring the impact of their policies in these communities. Reducing the health risks of children from poor backgrounds can help in achieving better social outcomes, and that is a critical concept advocated by the principle.
Australia has been one of the peaceful nations in the world and that has helped to support the social and economic success of the nation. The principle of ‘Promotion of peace’ is evident in Australia, and it has helped to provide a safe environment for healthcare practitioners. As an aspiring future nurse, the principle will influence my personal and professional growth. According to Fryer, during armed conflict, it is challenging to address the needs of the women, and promoting peace helps to prevent instances such as sexual violence. That will mean as a nurse, I will have the opportunity to cater to the health needs of other individuals and ensure the care will lead to enhanced well-being when there is peace of mind. Reports and news in countries such as Iraq and Syria show the need for promoting peace in the world. In such environments, it is challenging for healthcare professionals and the government, and that makes individuals face more challenges. Concepts of CST can help to provide an excellent environment for nurses to operate and ensure the healthcare needs of the people are easily managed.
‘Global solidarity is key to helping to enhance the strengths of stakeholders to address the challenges they are facing. For instance, the principle of global solidarity has been used to respond to the social, health, and economic needs caused by the impact of COVID-19. Nurses in Australia have been using directives provided by the WHO to provide treatment and promote awareness of COVID-19 among Australians, and that shows the importance of global solidarity. Global solidarity has helped to address issues with knowledge gaps, and through that, improve health equity among the people. After graduating, I will join one of the professional nursing organizations, and the principle will be critical to help the organization promote health among the global population. The health needs of the people keep changing, and through global solidarity, better outcomes can be achieved. The CST, therefore, will help in ensuring the objectives of the professional nursing community are achieved, and people around the world will benefit from high-quality care.
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