Fratelli Tutti 52: Destroying Self-Esteem

Destroying self-esteem has long been a tactic in poor parenting and leadership of the young. It ranges from physical abuse and psychological intimidation to very subtle digs at children and especially teens. It is a pandemic which has gripped most human societies from the very beginning. Its victims turn aggressors on the next generation and it takes great heroism for any individual person to put an end to it. How can we have hope for generation after generation? 

52. Destroying self-esteem is an easy way to dominate others. Behind these trends that tend to level our world, there flourish powerful interests that take advantage of such low self-esteem, while attempting, through the media and networks, to create a new culture in the service of the elite. This plays into the opportunism of financial speculators and raiders, and the poor always end up the losers. Then too, ignoring the culture of their people has led to the inability of many political leaders to devise an effective development plan that could be freely accepted and sustained over time.

While it certainly takes place on a cultural level, I don’t want to let go of the meta-topic. Be especially watchful of people who criticize developing self-esteem. Most often they are threatened by the prospect of treating people not deemed their betters or equals with respect and honor. It is easy enough to have a relationship of utility with someone perceived as a superior. Easier still to use peers in an effort to get ahead–and we’ve seen this in international politics from time immemorial. When a person, group, nation, or culture has something wanted by the powerful–a workforce, obedience, tribute, resources–anything material or spiritual or cultural–if can be taken with subterfuge or even force, count that the demonic among us will do it.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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