3. You shall value the relevance of your daily habits
Along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies.
The campaign "Care for the planet, fight poverty" has as its fundamental objective to raise awareness and encourage commitment to a just, solidary and sustainable development. Taking care of the natural and social world in which we live, taking care of people, committing ourselves against poverty may seem utopian, unachievable. There are so many problems and everything is so complex that a small contribution from each of us may seem irrelevant.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In the encyclical Laudato Si', which inspired our campaign, Pope Francis is clear and forceful: "Along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies" (LS 231).
In fact, history repeatedly shows us that small gestures, daily behaviors usually have a radical imprint. Everything changes when our day to day begins to change.
In fact, we believe that "a change in lifestyle
could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and
social power" (LS 206). This is why we propose the third green principle: you
shall value the relevance of our daily habits.
The structures, just an unjust, are composed and maintained by people. And it is the attitudes, scales of values, convictions and behaviours of these people that sustain the justice or injustice, the goodness or perversity of these structures. When we attend to our daily behaviours and try to adjust them to what we believe to be good, fair and supportive, we can see how things change around us. Maybe they are not big changes nor very visible or newsworthy. But surely, they are lasting, authentic and very important changes in the construction of a better world, in the transformation of those structures that provoke and maintain injustice in our world.
Breaking the individualistic,
consumerist and predatory logic of natural resources is essential if we want to
be caretakers of the planet and the human beings inhabiting it. And it can be
broken with small, everyday decisions. It is a personal choice that we can
Voices that claim...
Presidente Uru Warmi. Puyo - Ecuador
I will start by telling my father's story. He defended our territory, called Canelos, a long time ago, when he was 24 years old. He was elected president of the community. At that time foreign companies wanted to take over Canelos and my father thought: "if I destroy this community, my children, my companions, my friends, where are they going to go?" Then he said, no, I have to fight, to defend my territory.
They offered him to sell the land and they would give him the money in exchange. He said: "What good is it for me to have money? where can I go? If I have to give my life for my community, then I will give more life." He fought and thus managed to maintain the commune of Canelos, where we now live.
Defending territory has to do with nature. To cut down a tree is to cut down a life, that's why, when I become authority, I'm going to demand that, because if we sow a tree, we're going to sow a life. I know my rights, the rights of us all which we can rightfully demand, but I also know that we must comply with our responsibilities. Once, I went to the municipal council and they wouldn't assist me. They asked what did I go over there for and I told them that the money they manage belongs to us, "it is not yours and you have been elected to serve your people, these are our rights". I think we have an influence, I have learned a lot and I feel proud that us women are the ones who have not abandoned this struggle.
We want to move forward as women, with our children, with our traditions, teach our children our culture, how to plant cassava, because I have seen that it is not necessary to cut down a tree nor exploit oil."
Pope Francis tells us through the Encyclical Laudato Si', that this society of hoarding, centred on ownership, has clouded our hability to reflect in order to recover the essential meaning of life and to respect nature. If the aim is profit and economic well-being, our relationship with other forms of life, with nature, becomes a relationship of domination: "We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will" (LS, 2). And he tells us that "Care of creation is not a secondary commitment in the life and mission of the Church. It is an integral part of our collaboration with God to ensure that humanity and all creation has life in abundance". (Audiencia general de 5 de junio de 2013).
There are many things that we can change in the daily life of our inner circle, starting with ourselves and our communities, that have to do with changes in lifestyle and consumption. These gestures are both essential and transforming... "Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds." (LS, 219).
What can you do
(or stop doing)?
The publication of the third principle of the Decalogue, "You shall value the relevance of our daily habits", coincides with the beginning of a new year, which gives us the opportunity to make resolutions that change our daily behaviour and will help us in the task of caring for creation.
We are all invited to recover some responsible behaviour, but even more so the believers, the Christians, who receive from Jesus Christ the Good News that we are called to participate in the coming of the Kingdom of God.
In the ordinary period of time in which we live, we can start by incorporating simple gestures on a personal note, in our comfort zone, so that that which is not within our reach to resolve is not an excuse to (not) act.
Some of these practices and gestures within our reach:
1. Stop, slow down the pace in our life.
4. Make a sensible use of paper.
7. Recycle correctly.
10. Reduce consumption of our electrical appliances by, for example, opting for those with energy certificates, charging them to the maximum, using ECO programs, avoiding stand-by, etc.
13. Make a social and responsible use of money. To do this we can switch to savings cooperatives and ethical banks, change the way we secure our goods and finance our projects, carry out transactions and make purchases.
2.Give prevalence to public transport and bicycles and, if you do use the car, try to share it.
5. Make a sensible use of water: close the tap while shampooing your hair, brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
8. Replace disposable items with reusable ones. For example, take reusable bags with you when shopping.
11. Do not replace electronic devices such as laptops or mobile phones while they still work given that their manufacture and disposal are problematic.
14. Take part in events for the information, dissemination, awareness and prayer on the care of nature.
3. Whenever possible, consume eco-friendly, Fair Trade, homemade and local products (both food and cleaning, hygiene and cosmetics).
6. Minimise the consumption of bottled water.
9. Know where and under what conditions our clothes have been manufactured and consume textiles and footwear responsibly.
12. Promote domestic consumption of renewable energies.