Earlier this summer, Pope Francis released his “Top 10 Secrets to Happiness.” Along with “live and let live” and “be giving of yourself to others” was a reminder for young people of the sacredness of work. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people, he said.
We need to be creative with young people … It’s not enough to give them food. Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home [from your own labor].
The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops beautifully describes the connection between work and human dignity, stating: “Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.”
How can we protect and uplift the dignity of work, especially when many young people are looking for work or still deciding what to do, and others who may have jobs do not always think of their work as sacred?