Children, a new drive to ecology!
Anne-Marie Kirori (AOR)
Being a young, optimistic, enthusiastic and charismatic catholic, I am strongly moved by ecology and how people behave on matters to do with ecology. The environment is a gift given to us by God. It has, has been and will always be. As Christians we have been called to care for creation. The challenges to respond are huge as well and Jesuits and collaborators in the region, especially the youth, need support as they face the social and environmental concerns and accompany the poor whose situations are further worsened by continuing environmental degradation.
It moves my heart to see children taking the initiative to care for creation and create time to address ecological concerns. Indeed our future has hope. We cannot afford to play around with creation. The late peace Nobel laureate and renowned environmentalist, Wangari Maathai once said "If you destroy nature, nature will destroy you" (Nyamwaya, 2011). A similar message was also echoed by Pope Francis who during one of his lessons cautioned that "if we destroy Creation, in the end it will destroy us!" (Francis, 2014).
I am most concerned with the children and the elderly in the society. These two groups are the most vulnerable when disasters strike. When droughts, floods, tsunamis and other climate related disasters happens, the children and the elderly are the worst affected both in the short and long term. Such traumatic incidences affect us all mainly because most if not all can be prevented only if we take ecological matters much more seriously. It is terrible when innocent people end up losing their lives, property and their faith in creation as well. It is not right and just. However there is hope in Christ through the church and its teachings. The catholic teachings calls us to care for creation and ecology.
I see God through the beauty of creation. Through my daily interactions, I encounter God. This is through the good and humble service of men. Children bring joy and hope in my life. Their innocence, vulnerability and need for a better future gives me new energy to play a greater role in addressing ecological concerns. The different and many experiences that I have gone through from childhood till now have changed my perceptions and choices in life. As a child I always followed instructions from my elders and when something went wrong, I could put the blame on someone else but as I grew up, I knew I had to make right decisions. I know my decisions have consequences that I can only blame myself if I fail. I came to appreciate that life is a coin. You can spend it in many different ways but you can only spent it once! This calls for a need to live a responsible life.
Apart from children, the greatest hope and joy comes from within me, from deep inside my soul. This is as a result of knowing that every day is a struggle to become better stewards of God's creation and that there are indeed good people out there who live the struggle well.
I get support from all angles. My greatest support is my mother who understands me wholly and my weaknesses as well. She knows what is best. She believes in the need to conserve our environment. A blessing indeed!
Prayer is also my other weapon against destruction of creation. I always pray for nature and all the living and non-living things in it. That God may help to coexist peacefully with one another, to appreciate and respect creation and to become true stewards of the environment. In addition, I also pray for the vulnerable in our society. The sick, the young children, the elderly, the orphaned, the widowed, the troubled and disturbed. My prayer is that through creation these vulnerable people may find peace and wellbeing.
My prayer involves silent nature walks deep into nature. I take time to appreciate the beauty and wonder of God's creation while silently relenting my petition to God. I also recite the holy rosary often.
May the need to keep a clean, safe and better environment for our children be the drive to promoting ecological balance! Amen.