Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005) noted personalist philosopher, who was canonized as Pope Saint John Paul II from 1978-2005, committed himself to the affirmation of the dignity and worth of human beings. Human beings created in the image of God who are called to full fellowship in the life of our generous God. Wojtyla identifies the moral actions of a person cultivate experiences of growth in him or herself. The human experience is a combination of an individual acting and acting upon another. The person discovers the core of who he or she is by freely acting in accordance with truth and the reality of our world.
Now as human beings we experience our individual existence in the context of some type of organization. Human flourishing depends on interpersonal relationships which include the free exchange of information and material. As image bearers of God we live in a tension between unique individuality and shared participation within some type of organized group. The individual recognizes his or her unique existence and chooses to offer unique contributions in support of the group, more acutely in support of the flourishing of the other. Human beings freely acting for personal and group benefit maintains "the attitude that allows man to find the fulfillment of himself in complementing others" (Wojtyla, p. 284-285).
This coming year as you attend your daily activities, reflect on the dignity you possess as a human being created in the image of God. The capacity you possess to act in manners which correspond to truth can have significant ramifications on the growth of your personal life and equally shape how you view men and women who are experiencing the most difficult of circumstances. Pope Saint John Paul II reminds individuals of a significant truth regarding our existence as human beings and prayerfully, I hope this truth would stir the reader to act in ways which demonstrate growth in the and the promotion of generosity to those less fortunate wherever you live.
Wojtyla, K. (1979). The Acting Person. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company.