Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eco-nomy: what is it?

Photo taken from

The Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, has ended. But what is this controversial issue called ‘green economy’?

Let us explore some reflections on the word ‘economy’.

For those who believe in the Bible, the whole existence comes from nothing – creation, ex nihilo.

Let us explore the story of creation deeply in the context of maintaining the balance of Ecology.

From the first day to the fifth day, the Creator prepared all things in this wide universe and in the place where we live we call home – the Earth. He saw all these things were well and good: night and day; waters and sky; land, seas and vegetations; sun, moon and stars; and sea creatures, birds and animals.

All which have been there became, primarily, the totality of the oikos – household – our home. Etymologically the word ‘ecology’ comes from ‘oikos’.

The Creator saw it was ‘good’ – all things he created.

(When English word ‘good’ is translated to the Filipino language as ‘Good morning’, it definitely means ‘magandang umaga’ – ‘maganda’ literally is ‘beautiful’. In the Filipino perspective, creation may be the epitome of what is good and beautiful – a comprehensive look at the oikos in itself as both material and transcendental system reflecting the immensity of interconnectedness and order towards peace and order between creatures.)

This is the genesis of oikos – the household prepared for the sixth day. This is the first part of the whole story of existence. It is the ‘household of enoughness’ in which all things have been put in place to address the needs of creation in itself and prepare for the coming of the stewards as the seen reflection of the unseen Creator.

On the sixth day, human beings were created in the image and likeness of the Creator – from the oikos, dirt was gathered and human life commenced. This is the first time human beings knew about Economy.

‘Economy’ in its original meaning is not all about profits and investments – it comes from the two Greek words ‘oikos’ and ‘nomos’ which mean ‘household’ and ‘management’. Apparently, economy speaks of the management of the household – hence, to be stewards of the oikos, that is to maintain and oversee the grand goodness, beauty, interconnectedness, symbiosis and interdependence of the whole of creation.

All that were created were seen as very well and good. The stewards were instructed then to take care of the whole oikos except that they were prohibited to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was a commandment.

When the first humans gave in to the temptation of the serpent, disobedience and malice reigned in their minds and there was chaos – disorder. Disobedience led to greed and they ate the forbidden fruit.

This is the corruption of the genuine meaning of Economy.

But the challenge of the Creator remains – to bring back the real meaning of being true managers of the oikos.

As we know, all these led to the Great Flood.

There are things in this world which should not be exploited nor touched nor destroyed.

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