Christmas in the Philippines came late as like the winter monsoon. Perhaps it was the economic and political crises buffeting the country and the world as a whole. And the winter monsoon brought not cold air but rain, flooding Mindoro and Eastern Luzon. That these regions have been almost completely deforested has contribute more to the sorrow. It seems that the Earth is emptying its goodness. In Greek we call this emptying as kenosis.
That Jesus Christ is born today is the joyful announcement of the Mass of Christmas Day. This birth involved a divesting of the True God turned Man of His accidentals of his divine nature (Christian theology does not teach that he lost his divinity). It was just his appearances to Divinity just couldn’t be found in the manger in Bethlehem.
And the streets of Manila seem to have more of the poor whereas before their suffering were not easily seen. Human dignity seems to have emptied itself for many of these people are hungry. How can we help? And urgently help?
Has a globalised economic policy has condemned more of the people to poverty? As an environment scientist, I know that globalisation has speeded up environmental damage and paradoxically provides the way out to environmental misery, if a global consensus can be had.
But globalisation as slavishly followed by the Philippine government seems to have not made inroads and in pursuit of economic salvation, have authorised the emptying of whatever is left of the natural resources of the country.
Environment and poverty are so closely linked that we now know that reducing poverty will help save the environment and saving the environment gives a chance for people to get themselves out of poverty. This is only possible if a consensus can be had.
And what could be this consensus? Perhaps we should empty our brains of all our preconceived ideas in order to find out.