Year 135 - September - October 2023Find out more

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Problem or resource?

Fr. Livio Tonello, director

Problem or resource

We often hear talk about problems, hassles, inconveniences, often with reference to people. But can people be a problem? Young people’s problems, the elderly’ s problems, disabled people’s problems... It would be more correct to say that people may have problems, that they could cause them but not that they are a problem. People are always a resource. The young, the elderly, even those who make mistakes are a resource. We express our thoughts and feelings in words.

For example we use the word “handicapped person” or “disable person”. But the first word to be used is “person”. The person and not their disability has to be put first. A person who can not hear is called dumb, a person who can not see is called blind. People can have problems but they are not a problem. People with disabilities are, first and foremost, people. Labelling a person equates the person with a condition and can be disrespectful and dehumanizing. We are all unique and precious for others.

And what about the younger generation? The young are the future of society and they must be encouraged to pursue their dreams and their commitment. Nowadays quite often adults have the same problems as the young: sentimental crisis, looking for their identity, needing to appear, desiring eternal youth, obsessed with looking young... Nowadays adults are no longer a point of reference who represent a fulfilled life. Many parents want to be their child’s friend instead of their parents.

Authority, boundaries and accountability must guide parent-child relationships. Many parents are unable to show authority and credibility as they do not have a solid ethic structure. It often happens that adults are unmotivated and unable to transmit the great ideals to the young. This also happens in the religious field: adults do not know how to pass on faith to the younger generations as one expects faith to be expressed in action. Anyhow the young have a great potential that is a big resource.

Empowering people is not only a moral commitment: its means to defend every person’s dignity as mankind is the summit of creation: when God created man he said: “He is very good”.