Dialogue with Creation in the Vision of Silsilah | September 9, 2009
Silsilah applies much of its energy and resources to the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue, but this is most certainly not the only type of dialogue that it pursues and promotes.
The Silsilah vision of dialogue has four strands, or more correctly, a key strand from which flows three other strands. Dialogue with God is the central strand from which the three strands of dialogue with the self, with others and with creation flow. The centrality of God in the life of man and his many activities is a key concept of dialogue. It is because we believe in putting God in the center of our lives that we seek to dialogue with the self, with others and with creation. “Dialogue starts with God and brings people back to God.”
Silsilah understands dialogue as referring to man’s sincere efforts to listen and understand, and thereby learn to respect those which define the “otherness” of people in terms of their cultures and traditions. Creation has its own essence which we need to understand if we are to live with creation as God intended us to do.
For so long we have presumed that creation will take whatever we do to it. Man was late in recognizing that creation has its own systems and sub-systems which are in delicate balance to each other. This balance can be thrown out of kilter by the unmindful activities of man. Except for a few scientists, man had not been listening carefully to nature or creation. Those who had been listening and warning the rest of us about the consequences of our actions were generally considered crackpots or doom-sayers.
Even today those who continue to tell the world about the dangersto mankind posed by global warming, climate change and all the negative consequences are either ignored, laughed at or hounded into silence.
One of the worst effects of climate change is the impending shortage of water in many parts of the world. In some places water shortage is not a catastrophe to be awaited – it is already a reality. In some places in Africa it has not rained for 5 years. Crops are the first to fail under this situation. Now the livestock are dying because there is no water. Communities which are dependent on raising livestock have seen their animals decimated by half or more. Among the many resources of creation that is essential to man is water.
Those of us who are still enjoying the gift of a clean supply of water should not be sanguine. Let us not wait until our water supply has disappeared, or is endangered, before we take action. We need to be proactive.
The former Vice-President of the US, Al Gore, produced the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and brought to the consciousness of the world the phenomenon of climate change. The increased awareness of this phenomenon has seen governments working on doable steps to reduce carbon footprints, which include being less dependent on fossil fuels , designing engines which are more efficient in the use of fuels, reducing usage of electricity and other steps that can be carried out by industry and households.
As it has been said, “Forewarned is forearmed”. Surely we can do no less in protecting our resources, watersheds in particular.
It is not what Silsilah is against so much as what Silsilah is for. And Silsilah is for the protection, conservation and preservation of the Zamboanga City watershed.