The Dignity of Humanity, as Observed in a Thousand Points of Light

Blog-07-08Given the violence of the past week both in the U.S. and abroad, it is important to consider the dignity of human life. I think the video below helps to do this. In it, you will see a visual representation of worldwide airline traffic over a 24-hour period. Each plane is represented by a small dot of yellow light.

As you view the video consider some of the following:

  1. Each dot is a plane that carries hundreds of people.
  2. Each individual has a story.
  3. Some people are joyful, flying to attend a weddings or family events.
  4. Some people are sad, flying to attend funerals.
  5. Some people are nervous, flying to job interviews.
  6. Other people are flying to attend conferences or give business presentations.
  7. Each dot is a plane filled with people who have both gifts and struggles.
  8. The life of each person on each plane intersects with that of hundreds of other people.
  9. Some people are influential and/or well-known.
  10. Other people live more quiet, hidden lives but are still very precious to others.
  11. The people on the planes are parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, old and young.
  12. Some of the people on the planes will die soon.
  13. Other people on the planes will live for many more years.
  14. All of the people on these planes have lives that are swept up into the great mystery of God’s unfolding plan.
  15. None of the people on the planes is an “accident” or a surprise to God.
  16. Each person has the dignity of being an intentional and loving creation of God.
  17. Each person is known by God more than he knows himself.
  18. God knows everything about every person on each plane.
  19. God knows the past, present, and future of every person on each plane.
  20. God sustains every fiber of every person on each plane.
  21. Before these people were ever formed in their mother’s wombs, God knew them, loved them, and intended them.
  22. Every one of their days was written in God’s book before any of those days came to pass.

Each dot: a plane. Each dot: a gathering of people. Each person has both a history and a destiny unfolding, and is known to God, loved by God, and sustained by God.

Behold the mystery and the dignity of humanity as seen in a thousand points of light:

4 Replies to “The Dignity of Humanity, as Observed in a Thousand Points of Light”

  1. The real dignity of each human being has its origin in our creation in the image of God as genuine moral agents and in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it boils down to four points.

    1. We are not robots, plants, or beasts; we can deliberately reject God and chose evil.
    2. Aided by divine grace, we can also choose to obey God.
    3. We can be forgiven.
    4. We can extend forgiveness.

    A human’s dignity is not that of some precious but delicate object, like a Fabergé egg, but that of a person who is always in motion, either towards God or away from God. This is not a cute and cuddly dignity; it allows a person to become a saint (very few of whom were actually cute and cuddly!) or a monster. Each human is incalculably more important than a whole galaxy of lifeless stars and soulless planets, but our choices determine whether that importance applies to good or evil.

  2. Dear Monsignor Pope: As always, your Blog is thoughtful and uplifting to the human spirit. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant insights with us. I will share this post many times. Lovely.

  3. Scary, though, looks like the planes will crash into each other.

  4. The video is reminds me of the polar icecaps melting on Uranus.

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