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Serve the Least of Our Brethren

Kim’s Dream Orlan Rvanera
Xavier University Must Debunk Commercialism

There is now an evolving consciousness that Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest is flawed and must be debunked, a wrong concept that has given way to a roadmap of paradigm that has justified the gross inequities and social injustices in a world where a few oligarchs are in control, that is, if “fittest” is equated to the strongest, the most aggressive who will defeat anyone who dare to challenge to dominate. That dictum only applies to a jungle-like existence like hungry wolves competing who is the one who will eat a cornered prey.

That mindset of the strongest controlling everything has worked for the beasts in a world where the name of the game is survival. It should not be the case now where the name of the game should be sharing, cooperation and service.

It is horrible even to contemplate the present economic order in a world where only eight families have a total wealth equivalent to the total assets of more than 3.6 billion earthlings based on a study by Oxfam. I can only surmise that these billionaires with their tremendous financial raking at the expense of the people and the environment are justifying such economic domination because after all, it is survival of the fittest and they are the fittest who would crash down anyone in business.

No sir! Enough is enough of so much unbridled materialism and consumerism through commercialism..That theory has reduced man who is an embodied spirit created by God in His image and likeness to being just a beast. That flawed theory has spawned a wrong development paradigm called Neo-Liberal Capitalism, a growth-at-all- cost development strategy that has sacrificed Mother Earth and the people to the altar of greed and profit. History tells us how man has become so dominating that wars have to be resorted every time threats to one’s domain loom.

There is no need to live in that jungle-like world anymore. The universe is unfolding so fast that there are so many things to do, to know, to discover and to explore. No need to prove who is the best but the only path is to cooperate, to work together, to be one so that humanity can journey to a higher level towards spirituality. Each one of us is a stream of consciousness that must be connected to each other to gain strength towards that Ocean of Consciousness called Love, called God! As consciousness, we must be rooted with the Unseen Supreme Being, the Formless by feeling life force deep within in the vast spaciousness and stillness.

So the meaning now of the “fittest” is the most cooperative, the most loving, the most service-oriented. Man has ceased to be Homo Sapiens, as such is a failed specie who caused the deaths of more than 150 million of his kindred during the last one hundred years. That specie now has evolved to be Homo Pacem or Espiritus Luminus, men and women for peace and enlightened spirits as they are now connected to that Ocean of Love called God!

Indeed, man is more spiritual than being a body so we must not “live by bread alone.” Even King Solomon in the Ecclesiastes said that power, wealth, titles – these are meaningless, utterly meaningless. What is important is what is in our hearts and how we live to advance what is good, what is true and what is just. These are what really matter so that when we die, we will end up in God’s loving embrace. That is how to be Homo Pacem or espiritus luminous, the new consciousness.

That new consciousness is now gaining headways in a materialistic world shifting towards spirituality as manifested by the growth of cooperativism that is founded on time-honored and universally-accepted cooperative principles and practices. There are now more than one billion cooperative members on earth who are exemplifying to the highest degree that biblical line, “serve the least of your brethren and you serve the Lord.” That is also clearly announced in the Holy Scripture and manifested in the song, to quote: “… walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang, walang sinuman ang namamatay, para sa sarili lamang. Tayong lahat ay ginawa ng Panginoon, para sa isa’t isa.”

The shift now is from self-aggrandizement to collective power. That talent given to you by God should not be used for self-aggrandizement but to serve one another to propel humanity to greater heights for God’s greater glory.

All these years, it is so amazing that Xavier University has been harnessing the collective power of the poor and the vulnerable through cooperativism not only in the Philippines but in South East Asia through the Southeast Asia Rural Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) in Manresa. The Jesuit-run University has molded thousands of graduates through “cura personalis” to serve the least of our brethren in the spirit of love and service. Never must the University sacrifice its living cultural heritage to an image of commercialism Thus, the Concerned Parents, Teachers, Alumni & Communities (COPTAC) chaired by Dr. Anselmo Mercado expresses its firm collective stand against the Xavier University – Cebu Landmasters Inc.’s Campus of the Future. Xavier will be, as Ms. Raquel Polestico writes, “working with businesses and the very rich to develop students for the rich and for their businesses. It will be a different kind of education, different from the “cura peronalis” that formed us and the mentorship that took us to various meaningful engagements.” Furthermore, it will cause the destruction of the mini-forest in Manresa that will, in turn, cause the extinction of 40 bird species and the destruction of their habitat.

Never shall nature be sacrificed to the altar of commercialism. One of the most important messages in the field of sustainable development is that humanity has become a serious threat to its own future well-being and perhaps for its own survival as the result of unprecedented human cause harm to the natural environment. Xavier, please cancel the contract with the Cebu Landmasters, Inc. We in the environmental movement, have been taking direct actions through human barricades to protect God’s vanishing creation which we believe is the highest form of worship. Never will we allow the destruction of the mini-forest in Manresa. We will again take direct actions as we are pitifully hearing the cry of the birds in consonance with Pope Francis message to hear the cry of the poor and of the earth.

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