OUR OWN SITUATION
We are inside our house. We inherited it from our parents. It's roof is colored green. The day is so hot. The engine exhaust fumes from vehicles passing through the busy street outside is irritating to our lung passages. Moreover, our child is sick and in bed. So he needs to have his room in the proper condition if he is to recover. We turn on the air conditioner. Inside, the house is dark. We need enough light to see adequately in reading, cooking and other activities for living. We turn on the electric light. The power consumption cost is high. Our present income can not catch up with the cost of our economic requirements. We need to earn more if we are to sustain such requirements for the continuation of life of our family. Unfortunately, with our present capability to earn, we can only do so much.
Then an opportunity comes for us to earn extra. However, there is a cost in exchange. The extra income we will get, will result to an extra loss of resources to sustain requirements for the continuation of life of someone else and his family. We have to make a choice. Will it be his and the life of his family, or ours?
The bigger radius situation-- gain or loss of life for us, for the other, of for both, is the consequence of that choice. The choice we make, is the product of our ethical values, in response to the smaller radius situation-- the need to earn more, which is economic. This is economic situation, is the consequence of our economic response-- utilize artificial devices to our original situation-- need to reduce temperature, air pollution, and increase light which are biological, inside our house-- environmental response, which is a consequence of our inheritance of our behavior and our house-- social.
WHAT IS OUR CHOICE BETWEEN THE TWO?
We have been living inside this house since we were children ourselves. This has been the system of our parents. Why should we change it? Is this not all a matter of economics?
We needed to have an extra income because of the cost of power consumption. It is daytime. So why do we need to use an electric light when it is daytime? What about the sunlight? It could only be because our house does not permit entry of natural light. It is because it has been built according to a design that has walls that does not have openings to let in light from outside. Why do we also need to use airconditioner? Do we not have air from outside? Do we not have trees to shield our house from heat and to bring in more oxygen? Do we not know that no colors which is black and dark colors including green absorb heat which bring in more heat to our house? Do we not know that all colors which is white, and bright colors including yellow and orange reflect heat? These are what nature does. But we have isolated ourselves from it inside a very artificial structure which we have just inherited.
DO WE ONLY HAVE TWO CHOICES?
However, if we are only sensitive to the situation outside our house-- the sunlight, the air, the plants and all of nature including the people around us, we will realize that it is less of economics and more of environmental and how we relate to it, that should be the subjects of our choices. Then we can see that our original situation-- need to reduce temperature, air pollution, and increase light which are biological, inside our house, is an environmental problem which can be addressed by a scientific response. This is being in communion with nature. It is a matter of designing the house with more sides facing outside which allows more window openings for cross flow of air and entry of light from the outside. It is a matter of raising the pitch of the roof with vent on the outside, installing insullation and having the roof surface colored with bright color like orange to allow hot air to go up and out, block heat from the roof surface and reflect heat from outside. It is a matter of planting more trees and bushes to filter heat and engine exhaust fumes. It is also a matter of developing an environment where vehicular needs are reduced and pedestrian traffic is facilitated. This has a high initial cost but low maintance in the long run. We canot after all, make a choice by ourself.
A CHOICE TO MAKE, BUT BEYOND SELF
This is possible if there is a socialized housing project with the aforementioned design. This is possible if there is enough horizontal real estate area available to accomodate area for buildings that will have at least four corners to accomodate more wall surface facing outside to receive natural air and light as well as more spaces for trees. This is possible if there is an organized holistic blueprint for the area concerned. This is possible if social behavior of the area concerned is adaptable to an ecologically sustainable system. It is social behavior at the end that determines the implementation of any economic and scientific solutions to a situation.
Incidentally, this system reduces use of substances which contribute to climate change. The details of climate change issues have not even been presented. Yet it can be observed that no matter how thorough and sound are our systems blue print as we have already seen from what Arch. Palafox has revealed, they have not been implemeted. It is the behavior of those who are supposed to implement that is the factor needed. Who are those who are supposed to implement any system for the proper function of a society? All of us.
BEYOND OURSELF, BEYOND THIS WORLD
But we have not been able to do it for generations, how then can we expect ourselves to be able to do it this time? As shown, responsiveness to nature will be the force within us to move us to be in harmony with outside of our self. The force that will move us is not intellectual, but emotional. It is the force that moves us to do stupid things as forgoing our own needs for the sake of others. This is love. This is consistent with being responsive to nature. It is because the ultimate source of nature-- the cause of everything, is God. Then we should believe in his words. If we are to believe in his words, we then should believe in the scriptures and every manifestation of his works. How are we to know which among the many scriptures and events we percieve are that of God? By being sensitive to nature, being humble and loving outside of ourselves, we will be able to perceive him. Only then can we realize that what the scripture says that his 1st commandment that we love God with all our mind, with all our strength, and with all our being, is indeed the only reference point for the ethical values mentioned earlier. His 2nd commandment that we love others as ourself is related to his 1st.
As mentioned earlier, whether we are a powerful government official, a billionaire, a lowly employee, a peasant or an under employed or a jobless individual, we cannot do it on our own. We are just too weak to feel naked.
We inherited these characteristics from our first parents as mentioned in the scripture. It says that when our first parents who were naked in paradise got infected by sin, they begun to make clothes. That was the start of our materialism. When God asked Adam, one of our first parents where he had been because God has been looking for him. To which Adam answered that he hid from God because he was naked. God responded saying, "Naked? Who told you that you are naked? Have you eaten the fruit of the tree I forbade you to eat?" God knew that Adam had disobeyed his commandment because he saw the consequences of Adam not having followed something he instructed. True enough, the consequence was the degeneration into being unable to live without anything due to the loss of communion with God-- the ultimate source of nature.
Communion with the ultimate source of nature and his two greatest commandments are the basis for our living and our ethical values. As these become part of our own genetic code, we begin to act and lose if need be, to make our environment less painful and more pleasant to live in for others.
1. Free Nature Pictures
2. Free Nature Pictures
José Miguel García