The Decency Group generally doesn’t view the world through the lens of religion. But we see the value in the important humanitarian messages that can come from religion, in all its forms.
In fact, recent news from Pope Francis got our attention.
In his Papal encyclical*, Francis lamented that “(Human) technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibilities, values and conscience”.
*encyclical |enˈsiklikəl| noun, a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.
“The goal of technology,” he argues, “should not be to increasingly replace human work with machines in order to save money and make more profit.” From National Catholic Reporter
Francis sees what we see: people’s jobs being sourced to places for cheaper and cheaper labor, folks in 1st world countries not able to afford to live on a 40 hour per week job, the ability we all have sometimes to turn a blind eye to it all.
“Technology must serve humanity, not the market.”
And he spoke his mind about it. As a person with as much influence, both in religious and political groups, it was sure to be a cry to arms. Certainly THIS message, coming from THIS man, would finally grab the world’s attention, and would unite us in a common cause.
But that’s not what happened. The exact opposite occurred. Francis was criticized for “meddling” in world affairs, and for daring to wax scientific.
The indecency that occurred when Francis attempted to correctly tap the world on its shoulder is no surprise. We live in a world that not only accepts this indecency – it encourages and rewards it. We’re told to work harder, we’re told to come home to our families later and buy expensive things with the money we earn, to invest where the market is hot and undercut prices when we shop, giving our dollars to cheap labor and materials. We, too, perpetuate this system.
When we understand highly ingrained, human evolutionary mechanisms, the world’s reaction to Francis is precisely what we can expect.
Indecency is not our fault, and we should not waste time on blame. Humans are being pushed around by 300,000 years of evolution. When someone honks their horn at us, we still see a saber-tooth tiger.
We therefore cannot expect, and won’t attempt, to flick off the switch of indecency. It simply won’t work. The benefits of relentlessly layering in acts of decency, however, will enrich all of us in ways that are too many to count.
We invite you to join us on our journey, in our community of Radical Decency – to ourselves, each other and the world around us. For a special invitation to become a member, sign up for our email list, or leave a comment below.