Tag Archives: Life

[People] We All Want to Live -by Fr. Shay Cullen

We All Want to Live
Fr. Shay Cullen

What do we recall these holy days but the life-giving love and compassion of one person who changed the world by teaching mankind that justice is more powerful than revenge, that compassion is greater than condemnation, that believing in goodness and truth to overcome evil is a power that can change the world. That person is Jesus of Nazareth, truly a revolutionary who worked to convert the nation and corrupt leaders by calling for justice, loving the poor, respecting their dignity and rights. He stood with the downtrodden and for him, the children were the most important of all and women had equal rights. He was rejected by the leaders, despised, falsely accused, charged as a rebel and given the death penalty.

Yet those values he introduced are alive today but are rejected by corrupt leadership. Jesus of Nazareth had a deep conviction in the power of goodness and truth. He taught that people who had conviction and was one in goodness would live a fuller life of happiness and this would change the world. Everybody wants to live, be secure, healthy and happy and avoid death. These dreams and desires are supposed to be made reality by a just government of integrity.

The tragedy of the human species is that so many of the leaders succeed by nefarious ways to get and remain in positions of political and economic power. The bad ones are people of low moral values, devoid of principles and integrity. They despise the weak, exploit them and steal from the public purse to enrich themselves. They silence the speakers of truth; they kill the doers of good. These world leaders are the greatest threat to the well-being of the people and the planet. They lack commitment and concern for climate change. They are devoid of wise and learned action for the common good and bring the people and planet closer to the brink of disaster. So it was in the time of Jesus who called for change before it was too late.

This disastrous failure of leadership today has allowed the latest catastrophic spread of the Coronavirus to every nation, community and parish. It was foreseen, predicted, and a stupefied immoral leadership failed to act. Some leaders and their rich cronies and supporters, in order to preserve their economic wealth and prevent the stock market from crashing, resisted a lock-down. It was a policy of fatalism. “There is nothing we can do,” they said. Let the weak die and create “herd immunity” for the strong. Fatalism is a form of spiritual and mental paralysis, it denies the truth, undervalues people’s lives and freezes decision-making that would have saved many. As a result, death is all around us. Friends, relatives, parents are dying because of the failure of leaders to act in time against the deadly pandemic Coronavirus.

I saw shocking video clips from Indonesia of people in public places convulsing and choking to death with Covid-19 and no one would dare to help them. One brave woman rushed to help a dying woman. She acted on an impulse of compassion and empathy to try and help the stranger. She risked her own life. Who or what motivated her and others to act in a self-sacrificial manner? Patients have willingly given up their life-saving ventilators to others younger and choose to die so that others could live. What motivates health workers to report for work where they could be fatally infected themselves and die?

It is the power that comes from the unshakeable conviction, the belief that goodness and truth will overcome evil. It is called faith. That kind of faith is a true and good conviction that every person is of value, has dignity and right to life. Such faith and belief motivates and empowers people. They are the few who leave their comfort zone and choose to help others. They help others out of kindness, integrity, and goodness. They love the poor and work for justice. People stuck in fatalism and despair cannot act in this way.

Their conviction that goodness and truth will triumph over evil is an inner experience that flows out into action for justice for the poor. It is the unseen immeasurable power of a spiritual experience. It is akin to hope, for hope too is a conviction that goodness will triumph over evil. The world urgently needs such conviction to challenge with courage the despots and tyrants, the money moguls and corrupt captains of industry that oppress and exploit the downtrodden making them refugees, homeless and hungry. The leaders that Jesus wanted were to be believers in goodness and truth that protect, serve and help the poor, the oppressed, the deprived, the abused children.

The world community is facing a catastrophic situation right now like no other in history. Not only is the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world but even more damaging are the deadly effects of climate change. The indifference and apathy of many world leaders and their business partners accelerates deadly climate change that is threatening the human race and bringing the natural world close to collapse. To return to doing the good and taking right action based on faith in the goodness and dignity of every human with the right to a sustainable life is what the world needs. This will bring justice and peace to all. Without such values, evil will triumph and we will face the consequence of a faithless society, devoid of spiritual values, one that is based on selfishness, greed, exploitation, and power.

Yet if enough people unite believing in the force of goodness, the power of loving each other, respecting the rights of all and making it a movement, there will be change. There will be a halt to the pandemic, to climate change, to global collapse of the world economy. We can change the world for the better. We need to believe that we can and that our faith will save us. That is the powerful reason Jesus gave to those who were healed. No one did it. They healed themselves. “Your faith has made you whole,” he said. For doing good and wanting a just and equal society, they killed him, nailed on a cross, a cruel death for an innocent man. He left a meal of friendship. Do this in memory of me, he said, and we remember his powerful message how to change the world. Many good innocent people are killed today for doing justice and believing in goodness.

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[People] Choosing the green platform of life. By Fr. Shay Cullen

Choosing the green platform of life
By Fr. Shay Cullen

Life is full of choices, and we need to ask ourselves if the choices and decisions we make everyday are truly good, positive, ethical, and virtuous choices. If you were asked what makes you human, different from the rest of God’s creatures, what would you say? Can you answer right away or are you now trying to list what makes us uniquely truly human persons different from the animals?

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If you don’t have the answer right away, you may be short on a very human ability that can enhance and enrich your well being and happiness and that is self awareness and consciousness. This is one of the great attributes of being human; to be very mentally alert and conscious that you are alive and exist and that you are a person of great value.

It seems to be elementary to state that fact but great unhappiness arises in people’s lives because they are unaware of themselves, their potential and their goodness. They think they are even bad, perhaps. They are confused, unaware, semi-conscious of their values attributes and place low value of their own lives and existence. How wrong they are. Growing in self-awareness of our goodness and that we exist must be our priority in life and helping our children and others be the same is essential for a fuller, happier life.

We also have another great gift, the great ability to ask why we exist. That is one of the greatest attributes of being human, that we humans have the ability to reason and think. Not only can we be conscious of ourselves, we can also think about our existence and be aware of our place in the universe. We can look at the great universe with billions of stars, planets, and galaxies and say “I am”. How great it is if we can also say I am happy and grateful that “I am”. It’s wonderful to be able to rejoice in being alive and well and to know that it is “better to be than not to be”.

Sometimes people do not realize the joy of being alive until they are almost dead. Near death experiences through sickness or accident and disaster can awaken awareness of self and of life. Only when it is nearly taken from us do we truly cherish it and desperately do all in our power to cling on to it. When we survive, we see the world and ourselves in a very different light with greater, sharper self-awareness.

Another great gift of the human person is free will. That’s the ability to make free choices. Unless we are enslaved by other human beings or some form of addiction that has captured our free will, then we can choose what way to live and act. Even when captured by negative forces, we can choose to break free and escape from a negative existence to a happier, free, more meaningful life. Then with freewill, we are free to respond to different realities and challenges before us.

Free choice alone does not make us a true, good, ethical human person. Because many humans make negative choices that are harmful to others, to the planet and are even evil and far from being good, right and just.

This is one way to try and understand and explain evil in the world; some human beings exercise free will in a negative, destructive way. Others are not aware of themselves or of others and much of the world around them. They don’t think or are unconscious about their behavior and choices and are apathetic and indifferent to their own lives and the life of others. But many do choose to be fully human and choose the good and virtuous life.

As part of being fully human, we need to use our ability to know and reason and think about ethical values, to choose the good we have to know it. That’s where the value of learning and education in right and wrong are so important.

Our conscience is an innate value that can tell us what is right and wrong, just and unjust, true and false. Being human has another great unique ability and that is to care for and have compassion and empathy with others who may be total strangers to us. This is that we learn from the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan, love of the stranger in need is the greatest love of all. It is that human ability, a spiritual ability, to have compassion and to help others without pay, reward or seeking love in return or benefits for oneself.

You may want to read more on this. Here, I can recommend an excellent newly published book that gives an inspiring powerful message and a guide for life on how we can live a better, fuller life of happiness by choosing the positive, the good and the green – The Green Platform by Declan Coyle. It is all about choosing how to live a better, happier life, choosing a Green Platform of life. It is available at Amazon.com and Irishbooksdirect.ie bookstores.

The one important value that we need to embrace above all is to know ourselves and affirm that we are basically good and capable of greater good, compassion, love and a happier life. shaycullen@preda.org , http://www.preda.org

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[In the news] DENR condemns murder of Environment officer -GMAnews.com

DENR condemns murder of Environment officer
January 3, 2013

gmanewsonlineThe Philippine government has voiced outrage at “ruthless” illegal loggers intent on defying a nationwide ban on destroying forests, following the New Year’s Day murder of an Environment officer.

Two unidentified men armed with M-16 rifles shot Environment Department officer Alfredo Almueda in the head as he waited at a forest checkpoint to intercept a truck carrying logs on Tuesday, the government said in a statement.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of yet another Environment officer. We are angered and outraged by the attack,” Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said in the statement issued late Wednesday.

Paje said Almueda, 59, was the victim of persistent efforts by illegal loggers to silence “environmental defenders.”

“This attack clearly demonstrates the ruthlessness of those responsible for the rape and destruction of our forests,” Paje said.

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[Press Release] PH economy at high risk from natural disasters -climaterealityproject.org

PH economy at high risk from natural disasters
Climate group calls for genuine sustainable development platform

Manila, Philippines – The emerging growing economy of the Philippines is at highest risk in falling out due to natural hazards according to the 2nd Natural Hazards Risk Atlas released by Maplecroft, a global risk research institution.

“Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Viet Nam are among the ten countries with the greatest proportion of their economic output exposed to natural hazards. In addition, they also demonstrate poor capability to recover from a significant event exposing investments in those countries to risk of supply chain and market disruptions,” Maplecroft statement said.

“High exposure to natural hazards in these countries are compounded by a lack of resilience to combat the effects of a disaster should one emerge,” explains Maplecroft’s Head of Maps and Indices Helen Hodge. “Given the exposure of key financial and manufacturing centres, the occurrence of a major event would be very likely to have significant impacts on the total economic output of these countries, as well as foreign business.”

Maplecroft said that the “Philippines’ resilience to natural hazards has been tested over recent days, with severe floods affecting the northern island of Luzon, including the capital Manila. At the time of writing nearly 2.7 million people have been affected by the floods which have killed at least 66 people. Large sections of the Philippine economy are exposed to typhoons, volcanic activity, landslides, floods and storm surges; a fact reflected by the 274 recorded disasters over the last 20 years.”

An official statement from Malacanang Palace stated that “the Philippine economy grew by 5.9% in the second quarter of 2012, outpacing most of the economies in Asia. The gross domestic product growth for the second quarter was way above the Asean preliminary average growth rate of 4.7% and higher than the industry forecast of 5.4%.”

“The growing economy of the Philippines seems to be good news for everyone, however, if the whole country is exposed to natural hazards with development platforms which induce vulnerabilities of communities instead of promoting resiliency, definitely the economy which is meant to be pro-people will fall down,” said Rodne Galicha, Philippine District Manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), a global movement based in Wasington, DC, with 5 million members and supporters worldwide.

“We see more coal-fired power plants planned to be opened; mountains, seas and agricultural lands being exploited for mining; land conversions giving way to large subdivisions and mono-culture plantations – all these, resulting to the depletion of natural resources and biodiversity, are hypocrisies yet to be addressed under the shadows of fake sustainability,” said Galicha.

TCRP Filipino Climate Leaders, joining climate alliance Aksyon Klima, are calling for a genuine development platform to promote disaster resilient communities in the country by adhering to the basic principles of sustainable development which the United Nations’ Brundtland Commission defines as meeting ‘the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

“The Philippines has been respected worldwide for pioneering sustainable development in its policies such as the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development and Philippine Agenda 21 but we have seen a gradual deviation of economic plans from the very essence of the agenda despite new laws like the Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act and the People’s Survival Fund,” said Miguel Magalang, climate leader, Executive Director of Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), and private sector representative to the Regional Development Council of MIMAROPA.

Magalang assessed that the deviation from the principles of Philippine Agenda 21 is the result of a lack of understanding of the real objectives of sustainability especially in the time of climate crisis.

“The path to development should not be governed by an economy which aggravates exposures and vulnerabilities to climate hazards and disasters – we should learn our lessons from the realities we have been experiencing – high level of precipitation, unpredictable intensities of storms, floods, landslides. Does our economic platform address all these?,” said Magalang.

The Climate Leaders also recommends that “disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives should not be standalone ones but should form integral part of an integrated and sustainable development framework. There is also a need to come up with a convergent institutional framework in the local governments that would push for the whole sustainable development platform. Local development councils from barangays to the regional level should be reoriented and reorganized as local sustainable development councils where all other councils, bodies and committees in the local governments are clustered under one umbrella. This will result in dovetailing of plans and savings in time resources because local chief executives will need only to preside in one meeting.”

“Together with Aksyon Klima, the Climate Leaders will continue to engage with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to further our quest for a genuine platform which will address the needs of the present Philippines without compromising the survival of the next generations in the spirit of environmental sustainability and climate justice,” Galicha concluded.

The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. We help citizens around the world discover the truth and take meaningful steps to bring about change. Founded and chaired by Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice President of the United States, The Climate Reality Project has more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide. It is guided by one simple truth: The climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it.

For more information:
Rodne Galicha, kalikasan101@gmail.com (http://presenters.climaterealityproject.org/presenter/rodne-galicha_2079)
Miguel Magalang, marinduque.macec@yahoo.com (http://www.slideshare.net/pwyp/myke-magalang-pwyp-montreal-conference-2009)

Maplecroft: http://maplecroft.com/about/news/nha_2012.html
Philippine Economy: http://president.gov.ph/daang_matuwid/philippines-improves-by-10-places-in-global-competitive-index/
The Climate Reality Project: http://climaterealityproject.org

PRESS RELEASE
September 7/8, 2012

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HRonlinePH featured blog of the week:DEKONZTRUKTSCHON

Blog Title: DEKONZTRUKTSCHON
URL: http://rodrigo75.wordpress.com/
Author: Rod Rivera
Description: This blog attempts to contribute to human understanding of their life realities by examining things in their social world with a different lense – deconstruction for reconstruction of knowledge.