Michael Sanders analyzes historical occasions revolving around political dialogues that questioned whether or not morals and values should be brought into decision making, and the overall discussion. Through his analysis, Sanders illustrates the way in which thinking about justice in terms of the common good of others and incorporating moral engagement into conversations is better than “a politics of avoidance.” He concludes that it’s this practice that will lead us to a more promising good for society. In other words, it’s important to be engaged with the well-being of those surrounding you, rather than being ignorant and simply thinking in a simple, black and white sense. I loved the line, “Justice is not only about the right way to distribute things. It is also about the right way to value things.” (261)
I really appreciated the honesty that Sanders presents. I really love being able to engage in conversations with friends, family, strangers, anyone really, about faith, morals, society’s values, and more. I think it’s unfortunate so many stray away from these conversations, for whatever reasons they do. I loved his quoting of Obama, “Our fear of getting ‘preachy’ may…lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our mist urgent social problems.” (246) I could not agree more. The social problems attacking society today require much more than quick decisions. They require attention to detail and true dedication to those it will affect most, and least. Having such transparent, explicit honesty will allow society to find commonalities in the passion for justice, regardless of labels and identifiers. For, when we focus too much on monitoring those, we’re focusing on ourselves, not the common good of others.
Beyond this, I loved the mentioning of Martin Luther King Jr. and his use of morals and values in the Civil Rights Movement, and more. Truly, I appreciated the entire article.
This article allowed me to think of how I’ve been using morals and values in my work here at Prescott-Joseph Center and my living community. In terms of my living community, I’ve been challenged to accept where I have been falsely placing value on items and possessions. Now that I am limited, I’ve been realizing the beauty in simplicity while facing the reality that I can choose simplicity, while my neighbors might not have had the choice. Nonetheless, I am thankful for my current place in life. I am learning, being challenged, I am healthy, excited, nervous, inspired, grateful, and forever impacted. My heart is intensely intertwined in this fellowship, and Sanders piece affirms my use of morals, values, and faith into my experiences and how I share those with others.
The 5 people I live with will forever hold value in my heart and will forever be attributed to my love and passion for justice and hope.
At PJC I have learned the importance of putting your heart into all you do. I’ve learned it from David, who does maintenance, just as I have learned it from Dr. Burns. What drives PJC is the value they place on the people of West Oakland. They see hope in them, they believe in them, and they want to help them in their success, and struggles. There is no hiding of morals, values, and faith in discussions that occur at PJC. PJC is committed. It’s beautiful, really. In helping develop the Family Resource Center, everything that I take into consideration has to be of true help for the community. It’s clear to me that the issues the FRC wants to tackle are not simple, they are complex, embedded, stigmatized, not spoken enough of, and often ignored. I have to value the work that I do in order for it to do good for the community. If I was just doing aimless work, what would be the point?