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Sharing my story at #CRinPH

shiela fro bec

Thanks to my dear friend and fellow climate warrior Dean Rebecca Barrios for taking this photo.

(I had the chance to briefly share my story at The Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Manila this afternoon. This is how I intended to share it, but the actual was a bit different. It was an honor to be introduced by Climate Reality Board Member Don Henry who I had the privilege of meeting in the Asia Pacific Climate Reality Leadership Congress in Melbourne in 2011. Meeting Climate Reality founder and chairman Al Gore at the back stage was so surreal, but that’s another story.)

I’m a farmer’s daughter. My father took pains to send us to school and not spend a day of work in the farm. But as a child I loved climbing trees and taking showers in the rain and daydreaming. However, my father’s dream for me was to set me out to make something of myself. And despite some detours, I found myself teaching in college and taking up a masters course. I was actually on my way. But I was burned out.

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The persecution of love

slide6The other day, I received a text message from my staff Jhoann that had a lot of hearts and I Love You’s. It said Happy National I Love You Day. I thought it was cute. But I can name more than a handful of people who would scoff at it. Worse, maybe more than half the world thinks it is meaningless and petty. And maybe for many good reasons. I love you has become a fad, a meaningless phrase casually said with nary a thought.

I think we live in the time of the persecution of love. It has nothing to do with the dismissal of the National I Love You Day. I mean a real persecution of love and its very essence. Love has been relegated to the margins, looked down on in favour of material and professional success. Love has been shut out of many hearts. Proofs abound: wars, domestic violence, conflict at the workplace, destruction of the environment, factory farming, marginalization of basic sectors, climate change, religious intolerance, anger and cynicism. All of these and many others prove that love has been thrown out the door.

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