By Andre Vu
Truly, a person is moral when he or she proclaims, celebrates, and serves the eventful, phenomenal, and sacred thing we call life. What does it mean to be pro-life? The answer lies within each and every one of us: through our own humanity. Whether it’s helping out in the community, paying for someone else’s meal, or complimenting others, our empathy and compassion detail what it means to be pro-life. Life does not just begin at conception; it begins with us, and it begins on an even larger scale. It begins with God.
Saint John Paul II wrote: “The new evangelization calls for the followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life, who will proclaim, celebrate, and serve the gospel of life in every situation.” According to the pope’s quote, not only are we followers of Christ, but we are leaders for Christ. Who is responsible for our decisions and moral compass? We are. Why do we make the decisions we do? Ultimately, it is because we care, and that is what makes us human. That is what makes us pro-life.
As a student in a Catholic school, I find it encouraging that others my age share the same beliefs I do. This makes a small school like the one I attend more united. Being united is important for a student and a student body because it signifies what a community can do together. Together, we can lead a pro-life existence by making the right choices. Together, we can help each other rise beyond ourselves through kind actions and kind words. Together, we can proclaim, celebrate, and serve each other because we are human. Being human cannot be stressed enough because it is the most important aspect of why we exist.
So, what makes us human? How can I be human as a student? And how does this correlate with being pro-life? Personally, I think it starts with the small things. Like the story of the mustard seed, seemingly inconsequential matters accumulate into huge meanings. Turning in homework on time. Listening to teachers. Promoting a healthy lifestyle. Studying. Saying kind words. All of these “little” actions make up a pro-life person. Being pro-life is about making the right decisions at the right time to lead a meaningful life. This is advocating for life.
I do not understand people who advocate for abortion or say life is a “choice.” Life is not a choice. Human disposition is a choice. Murder is a choice. Bad decision-making is a choice. Being hard-working is a choice. Faith is a choice. Beliefs are a choice. Every action we perform or every word we say is a choice. Most importantly, our existence is not a choice, but what we do as humans is a choice. Our choices help define why life is important.
Life is not just important at conception. Life is important in the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester. Life is important at birth. Life is important as a toddler, as a tween, as a teenager, as an adult, as a voter, as a teacher, as a student, as a woman, and as a man. Life is important regardless of the position we hold or the person we are. Whether a neighborhood mail carrier, a city doctor, a savage criminal, or a law-abiding citizen, life is important in all aspects and at all points. Being pro-life is not just about being anti-abortion; it is also about being anti-murder, anti-genocide, anti-euthanasia, anti-suicide, or anti- any type of action that harms human life.
We need to advocate for this, we need to become this. Through Jesus Christ, together, we can do the small things and advocate for life at every stage. But the big question always rings out: How? How are we going to follow Jesus Christ? How are we going to be together? How are we going to do the small things? How are we going to advocate for life at every stage? Just how are we going to be unconditionally pro-life? The answer is and will always be: through our humanity. Our humanity was given by Jesus Christ. Our humanity calls us to be together. Our humanity exists by doing the small things. Our humanity is experienced through every stage of life. Our humanity details what it means to be pro-life, what it means to be human. Not only am I going to hold life and my humanity precious at all costs, through every decision I make or word I say, I am asking you to do so also. I want you to lead for Christ. I want you to unite us all. I want you to do the small things. I want you to advocate for life at every stage. Next time you are at an event with many people, no, if you are just talking to another person, if you are just looking at another person, be loving. Don’t just be loving on Valentine’s Day, thankful on Thanksgiving, or joyful on Christmas, be proud, at any time, that you are next to a human being, no matter who he or she is, because we are here for a reason. We are here, not only to be pro-life, but to show the world, to show the person to our right, to show the person to our left, to show ourselves, and, finally, to show God, why we are, and what it means to be human.
Andre Vu won an honorable mention in Category 2 of CLSP and IEW's Pro-Life Essay Contest.