6. You shall encourage the necessary decisions even if they are costly
If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity.
Throughout the five previous principles of this Campaign we have been reflecting on the serious socio-environmental situation and the importance of our daily behaviours to solve this problem.
The goal of improving the world is a joint citizen responsibility and commitment. However, in addition to our individual commitments, companies and governments play a fundamental role in the care of the Common House. Despite this, they have been the slowest to react and we can see how "the failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance" (LS 54).
We need to regain a forward-looking policy, not a short-term one, that is centred on the Common Good and not on the interests of a minority. "If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity" (LS 197).
We have been called to a responsible citizenship, committed to the causes of poverty and environmental degradation. This means that we must stand firm when necessary before those who govern us and elect representatives based on their commitment to care for the most vulnerable and for our planet, our home.
Without a committed policy that works realistically for a world that respects human rights, inequalities are reduced and nature is cared for, our individual efforts will be diminished.
It is up to us to hold governments accountable and work for the common good in the long term. It is a major challenge and it is necessary to overcome the logic of efficiency and immediacy for political action "to take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail" (LS 181).
Voices that claim...
Piuja Community, San José
Grandma Hilda's Kitchen
From the large clay pot broke, Mrs. Hilda prepares her masato in an aluminum pot. The taste of the food is not the same. "I ussed to only cook in my clay pots and everything tasted better. In the grandaza I prepared my masato and in the small ones the fish, the banana and the rice", she explains. She is as unpreoccupied about her age - "I think I'm 70 now," she says with a smile, although her ID card indicates she's 83 -, as she is about the number of clay pots she's made in her life.
It was her grandmother who taught her the secrets of mud shaping as a child, and then she taught her daughters. However, her granddaughters are no longer interested. "Sadly, young women no longer want to make pots. Not everything has to be bought if it's easy to make," says Hilda, spinning her hand over the last pot she made.
In order to make it, she asked one of her nine children to bring her fresh mud from a creek near her home in the community of Puija. She mixed it with sand from the river and water in order to knead it easily. "I put it on the board and massage it using wood for a spoon," says Hilda, shaping an imaginary vessel. "That's how I shape it and, when it dries, there's one last step: expose it to heat for half an hour because, after burning it, the mud doesn't squeeze," she adds.
She proudly explains that the pots she makes remain long undamaged and unbroken. Her son and granddaughter, who translate her from yine, nod and assure that she uses them whenever she can. The pot she shows us is shelled. "I want to make another one but I'm old and now it's hard to find mud," says Hilda resignedly.
Hilda Saavedra - 83 años - Yine
Published in Poyagnu Natjirune (Thanks, grandparents, in yine or piro)
1st Meeting of Productive Knowledge of the Elderly - Sepahua (Ucayali, Peru)
I like the verb "to link" and I think it is a good translation from the Hebrew dabaq, which means to be attached, to stick, to cling, to unite... I translate some biblical texts in this way and they acquire a new meaning: "For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me to be my people for my renown and praise and honour" (Jer. 13:11). It also helps us better understand the attitude that the Lord expects of his people: "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life" (Dt. 30:19).
Searching in the Gospel for "linked" characters, the first to come to my memory is the Samaritan of the parable in his "linking" with the half-dead man of the road.
Let's remember the scene: the author's lucid realism does not spare its dark tone. An assault by bandits, a stripped man, knocked down and half-dead. Two "qualified" passers-by. It is inevitable to remember the banditry of our world, its forgotten victims on the margins of exclusion, the indifference of those who pass or pass by going eagerly into our own affairs, the continuous aggression suffered by the planet...
And, when history insisted on making us believe that evil has the last word and is fatally irremediable, another figure appears on the horizon, preceded by a small grammatical mark that puts us on edge: "but a Samaritan...". Where does the "dissidence" introduced by this "but" come from and what does it claim? We ask ourselves what opposing force can it represent in the midst of a world that sends no signals other than those of the possessive frenzy, the obsession for self-care and a satisfied unconsciousness, while entire peoples fall in silence. Isn't that "but" giving us an insight on Jesus's look at history and his stubborn hope that sees a powerful but apparently weak force of resistance emerging?
LINK OURSELVES TO JUSTICE WITH ALL OUR CORPOREALITY
In the midst of so many signs of death, the Samaritan who enters the scene does not seem to possess many resources. He does not belong to any power that supports him or guarantees him prestige or influence. He is a foreigner, he travels alone and has only his saddlebag, but has his gaze on the lookout. Inside, his heart vibrated to the rhythm of the Other and all of him runs the risk of being linked to the fallen one.
He makes the minimal and immense gesture of approaching the fallen man - our wounded planet. Where others have dodged it, unaffected by his abandonment, he feels affected and responsible for his helplessness.
The urgency to reach out to him postpones all his projects and interrupts his itinerary. The concern for the threatened life of the other prevails over his own plans and brings out the best him: a self freed from itself. He is a foreigner with no kinship or ethnic solidarity to force him to care for another, but who has stopped to help. He is a traveller who has descended from his horse, changed his itinerary and knelt beside another man, linking his own fate to his.
What if in this gesture of pure alterity lies the secret of the deepest Christian identity? To be a response to the increase of possessiveness, a presence that affirms the value and dignity of the weakest, the effective concern for taking care of the Common House. A tiny rock to stumble on along the way in the field of neoliberal logic; dreamers with their feet on the ground, determined to maintain a hopeful relationship with reality, capable of discovering possibilities of transformation and of imagining the "other possible world".
That is why it is so important to ask ourselves what our eyes see, what we read, what sources of information we turn to, what kind of people we look at, what TV programmes we prefer, etc.. Ask our ears what voices, opinions and judgements have the most influence on us. What social milieu do they come from? What experience do they speak from? Ask our feet what places they frequent. Whom do they visit? Where do they stop? Where have they escaped from? Ask our hands for whom they work. Whom do they serve? What situations do they contact with? Ask our heart for whom it is inclined. Whom is it moved for? What causes is it are passionate for? And so on.
Because it is these daily and simple behaviours that can verify if our lives are, like that of the Samaritan, on the way to being linked to justice too.
What can you do
(or stop doing)?
1. Take an interest in environmental initiatives and policies developed in your area, be a part of your community. There are many actions developed to recover natural spaces such as cleaning up rivers, streams, tree plantations, etc. It is a good way to take care of the Casa Común, as well as a fun family activity that strengthens the education and values of the youngest.
6. We invite you to join us in celebrating and praying as believers in the vigils that are held throughout the national territory.
7. Take an interest in learning about the proposed Climate Change Law that has developed Climate Alliance, of which Enlázate por la Justicia is part through its participating organizations.
2. Realize that caring for Creation is a very broad challenge. It is important to understand the global dimension of the challenge we face. We must overcome short-term logics, measured both temporarily - through our responsibility towards future generations - and spatially, given that global dimension transcends national borders.
4. Solidaric vacations. This summer you can opt for social volunteering. A holiday based on principles such as respect for the brother and his natural environment, and the environment in general. You will discover the unique natural heritage of each region and understand the importance of protecting the biodiversity that surrounds us. It is a great opportunity to show your family that cultural or ethnic diversity is not a barrier between peoples, but an element that enriches us and allows us to improve and learn from each other, as well as educating in fundamental values such as solidarity, companionship and the construction of a more just and sustainable society.
Pope Francis reminds us in the encyclical Laudato si' that "true statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good" (LS 178).
This challenge is not that of a minority, it is that of every individual. The only solution is the sum of individual actions, the grain of sand each of us has contributed to the Care of Creation.
5. Think globally so you can act locally. Pope Francisco tells us that "it is remarkable how weak international political responses [to the socio-environmental crisis] have been. The failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance" (LS 54).
Take an interest in environmental policies in your area and demand concrete measures, laws and actions that strengthen the care of Creation and fight against climate change. Remember, if you take care of the planet, you fight poverty. Find out about the environmental initiatives of the main political parties to demand compliance in the different territorial areas.
Not only can we change our personal behaviour, we can also unite as a civil society to change structures.
8. Use alternatives to air conditioning to cool down this summer. Air conditioners consume a lot of electrical energy; their indiscriminate use not only increases your electricity bill, but also CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and contributes to aggravate global warming. The alternatives are very easy to use, such as opening the opposite windows of the house in the hours of less heat to circulate air, which will contribute to lowering the temperature. As well as this, you can lower the blinds in the hours of maximum heat or direct exposure to the sun. You can put awnings on windows, as well as have plants on windows and balconies.
NO (Ulibarri Fl.)
Lord, in the silence of this new day,
If I said yes, sir,
that it's all very well,
that the world is just and good,
that history brings clarity,
that our laws are your laws,
that everyone is everyone,
that we all get what we deserve,
that these times do not give for more...
If I were to say that perhaps
it's just the way it is,
and there they are and don't let's turn them around:
if this one is up and that one is down
it's life's fault;
if some go from door to door
with a sack of ashes on his back
it's because they're stupid...
If I said yes,
that we all have equal opportunities,
that effort is what counts,
that revolution is a chimera,
that rich people cry too,
that being poor has its advantages,
that there each one with his conscience...
If I said that you exaggerate,
that your beatitudes are no good for this time of year,
than poverty, hunger and tears,
are wasteland and barren;
if I seek approval for my status
and no one will speak ill of me...
If I said what is sometimes said:
that the world doesn't work with your promises,
that it's no use cursing those upstairs.
and less to those who triumph,
that it's good that there's civic freedom
for all offers...
If I said that your beatitudes
are flowers that conceal chains
or reassuring words
to those who pull the strings of history...
Shut up, shut up,
and a lot of caution.
If I said yes...,
then it would be time to talk seriously
of those who announce paradises on earth,
of those who say your gospel alienates,
of our secret accounts, of my life and your bets...
But no, Lord.
That's why I ask Lord that,
everything that needs to be changed,
that it may be according to Your Word.