Sometimes you have to make demands on people
Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf gave his audience food for thought with a talk on unemployment. Declaring that we should care about every unemployed person, he added that we have a shared responsibility to ensure that people can find dignified work. "Human beings need a meaningful activity to feel happy and content and experience fulfilment in life."
The abbot primate acknowledged business owners, who, to be able to invest, need to make a profit while thinking about the wellbeing of their workers. This, he noted, is a huge responsibility. "During the crisis many companies refused to let employees go out of genuine concern for their families, and this deserves to be recognised." Every single worker, he added, must feel valued.
Wolf also appealed to the personal initiative of the unemployed, for whom it is sometimes all too easy to shift the responsibility on to the state and the rest of society. Ultimately, the first responsibility for unemployment and overcoming it lies with the individual. "Sometimes you have to make demands on people in order to encourage them." Special emphasis should be placed on this in education, said Wolf, meaning an all-encompassing education and the will to overcome problems.
He offered no magic formula to solve unemployment. "Unemployment is something oppressive, a deficiency that we cannot feel indifferent about.
It can only be overcome through a joint effort on the part of businesses, government, society and the unemployed themselves. To find a way forward we must act with solidarity."