Published on Sunday, November 06, 2011, in Manila Times
Our ancestors collectively remind us that everything is interconnected; however, not interdependent when human beings abuse such harmony.
Humanity depends on nature for survival and existence but it is not the whole humanity who wanted to survive and exist. Greed and selfishness in the guise of national security created a great global apathetic divide which will eventually result to genocide.
It is the apathy of human beings that leads to unjust treatment of our planet as subject. It is as if life on earth began through the power of our superior rationality.
Unless we are unable to accept that we are part of this whole ecosystem, it will be impossible for us to solve the emerging environmental crises.
It was a rendezvous of same worldviews when I met and listened to Paul Hawken, author of New York Times bestseller Blessed Unrest: How the largest movement in the world came into being, and why no one saw it coming.
My colleague at The Climate Reality Project, Simon Bradshow, describes the Paul Hawken speech and interactive discussion as “Over an hour and a half, and in his gentle poetic style which felt more like a Sunday walk in the bush than a lecture, Paul Hawken ranged seamlessly from dissolving the human and nature divide, rediscovering the miracle of life, understanding our place in the world and understanding the extraordinary power of the nongovernment organizations and collectives.”
It was indeed a journey beyond our imagination reaching into challenging realities of going back to the basic sciences of nature from which all of us came into being. A realization that what we are doing as part of these seemingly “small” movements to restore environmental harmony and promote social justice for all is but a natural propensity as part of the whole life-system of the universe. Hence, I agree when Hawken said “We are nature.”
Belonging to environmental movements, we are often addressed as “environmentalists.”
Practically, receiving such regard comes with a huge responsibility and challenge which in fact all human beings should do and face.
It is not being an “environmentalist” that moves us, for being so it is just sympathy to the environment which forces us to protect and fight for it. We intangibly put humanity as the masters of the universe and environment as mere subject obviously kneeling down for our mercy.
Or is it the other way around, begging mercy from nature from which all our cells come from forming almost 1 septillion activities within us 10 times the number of stars in the universe, as Hawken puts it?
What is the root cause of all these turmoil in the world? It is the denial of humanity as part of nature thus making everything in the universe as mere subjects for utilization.
How to solve this? We should learn from the indigenous peoples of the world who have been teaching us how to live in harmony with nature and accept the reality of being part of nature.
Sadly, the whole utilization movement is promoting ethnocide bringing age-old traditions and customs into the brink of extinction.
Why indigenous? In our veins flow indigenous blood which enable us to adopt and strife for survival. Once upon a time, we belong to a humanity dependent solely in the abundance of nature and we live with it, in harmony. However, there were some who abused such abundance and forced nature to be more abundant to the extent of stripping off the capacity to become abundant. This started the utilization movement which is 1 percent of the world’s population.
It is now high time to bring back what had been. Together, with the indigenous peoples of the world who have been sacrificing their lives and defending their lands and traditions for the sake of maintaining the balance in this planet, we shall stand up. Against the 1 percent, we are the 99 percent who are now making environmental and social justice into reality.
Yes, every one of us is part of each and everyone. I breathe what you breathe. Let the 1 septillion cellular activities in our bodies modify and transform the minds of the utilization movement. Let us not permit 1 percent to occupy the 99 percent who wanted to bring back the natural balance in this world.
Don’t forget, the minds of the 1 percent utilization movement are still part of the 99 percent. The silence and inaction of 99 percent make them more powerful.
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Why all these natural problems? Nature just reacts.
Why such “exaggerated” reactions? Because of our exaggerated apathetic actions.
Whatever we do to the detriment of the environment comes back to us because we are all part of it.