Practical clues to take care of the Earth, By Leonardo Boff
Two principles are fundamental in overcoming the current crisis the planet Earth is going through: sustainability and care.
Sustainability, based on analytical reason, has to do with everything that is necessary to guarantee life and its reproduction for current and future generations.
Care, based on sensible and cordial reason, refers to behaviors and relationships with people and nature, marked by respect for otherness, for love, for cooperation, for responsibility and for the renunciation of all aggressiveness.
By articulating these two principles we can restore balance and vitality to the Earth. We offer some practical suggestions for everyone to make their molecular revolution (Guatarri): the one that begins with the person himself, and is the basis for the great change of the entire system.
Here are some:
Always feed the conviction and hope that another relationship with the Earth is possible, more in harmony with its cycles and respecting its limits.
Believe that the ecological crisis should not be transformed into a tragedy, but an opportunity for change towards another type of society that is more respectful and inclusive.
Give centrality to the heart, sensitivity, affection, compassion and love, because it is these dimensions that mobilize us to save Mother Earth and its ecosystems.
Recognize that Earth is alive but finite, similar to a spaceship, with limited and limited resources.
Rescue the principle of relief: all beings, especially the living, are interdependent, and therefore have a common destiny. They must live together fraternally.
Value biodiversity and every being, living or inert, since all have value in themselves, regardless of human use.
Recognize the virtualities contained in the small and in what comes from below, because there may be contained great solutions.
When you don't find a solution, trust the creative imagination, which hides in itself amazing answers.
Take seriously the fact that for the problems of the Earth there is not a single solution, but many, that must arise from dialogue, exchanges and complementation among all.
Exercise lateral thinking, that is, put yourself in the place of the other and try to see with your eyes. Thus you will see different and complementary dimensions of reality.
Respect cultural differences (peasant culture, urban, black, indigenous, male, female, etc.), as they all show different ways of being human.
Overcome the unique thinking of the dominant knowledge and value the daily knowledge of the people, the indigenous people and the peasants, because they cooperate in the search for global solutions.
Demand that scientific practices be subject to ethical criteria so that conquests benefit life and humanity more than market and profit.
Be sure to value the contribution of women because they are natural carriers of the logic of complexity and are more sensitive to everything that has to do with life.
Make a conscious choice for a life of simplicity that opposes consumerism. You can live better with less, giving more importance to being than having and apparently.
Cultivate intangible values, that is, goods related to spirituality, gratuity, solidarity, cooperation and beauty, such as personal encounters, exchanges of experiences, the cultivation of the arts, especially music.
More than part of the problem, consider part of your solution.
Now we are going to consider the changes in the practices of everyday life.
Try in everything to follow the path of dialogue and flexibility because he always wins and is a way to reduce conflicts, and even to resolve them.
Value everything that comes from experience, giving special attention to all who are not heard by society.
Always keep in mind that the human being is a contradictory, sapient and, at the same time, insane being; Therefore, always be critical and at the same time comprehensive.
Take seriously the fact that the cerebral and spiritual virtualities of the human being constitute an unexplored field. Always be open to the irruption of the improbable, the inconceivable, and the emergence of emergencies.
For more problems that arise, endless democracy is always the best form of coexistence and overcoming conflicts; democracy to be lived in the family, in social relations and in the organization of the state.
Do not burn trash and other waste, as they increase planetary warming. They can be recycled.
Notify adults or the authorities when you know of tree demolitions, forest fires, bromeliad trade, exotic plants and wild animals.
Help maintain a beautiful visual aspect of your home, school or workplace, because beauty is part of the integral ecology.
Encourage groups to create a communication vehicle, a sheet or small newspaper in the neighborhood, to discuss environmental issues and receive creative suggestions.
Talk frequently at home, with friends, with your building and street neighbors, about environmental issues and about our responsibility for the good of human beings and the planet.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, rearrange, reject (exaggerated propaganda), respect and take responsibility: these 7 years help us to be responsible in the face of a shortage of natural goods, and are ways to reduce carbon dioxide and other polluting gases atmosphere.
Father Cícero Romão Batista, one of the religious icons of the people of the Northeast of Brazil, elaborated ten precepts of ecological content at the beginning of the 20th century:
«- Don't grow the forest, not even a tree.
- Do not set fire on the farm field, or in the wilderness.
- Don't hunt anymore, let the animals live.
- Do not raise the ox or the goat loose: make fences and let the grass rest so it can be redone.
- Do not plant above the saw, or mow on a very steep slope, let the vegetation protect the land so that the water does not drag it and lose its wealth.
- Make a cistern in your house to store rainwater.
- Represent streams from one hundred to one hundred meters even with loose stone.
- Plant at least one tree every day until everything is a green, completely green.
- Learn to take advantage of the plants of the field.
If the people of the countryside obey these precepts, the drought will end, the cattle will improve and the people will have to eat. But if you obey them, the whole field will soon become a desert.
These practices give us the hope that the current pains are not of death, but of a new birth. Life has to succeed.