• Kim’s Dream
  • Orlando R. Ravanera

Coronavirus has erased the existence of some 614,000 human beings from the face of the earth. The pandemic seems uncontrollable with utter disregard to the sanctity of God’s creation. If only the virus can speak, perhaps its counter argument is that man is the real virus, a species that has caused billions of life forms to become extinct in the past 100 years.  That species called the homo sapiens is even causing the Earth’s 6th extinction, based on studies by Climate Change scientists.  Let us pause for a while and reflect on the sacredness of life. Perhaps, in doing so, a paradigm shift in our mindset can be trail-blazed to become a countervailing force against the negative forces that harm life.

Let it be known that whatever be the form, all life is sacred as creation is a reflection of the Creator, each one carrying a sense of divinity. Thus, every time you eat meat – be it red or white – please reflect for a while that that meat came from a life form that once did breathe, having experienced in its own right pleasures and pains, exposed to the wonders of life, having felt the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the wind, the brightness of the moon and the stars at night, tasting food from the loving touch of the raisers and finally, had to succumb to the pains of shedding blood as its throat had to be cut – all because you must eat and live.

When one has to cease breathing, be if flora or fauna, so that Homo Sapiens have to live, i.e., giving-up one’s life so that another creation can live, that unescapable drama of life must be reflected upon by all of us that somehow contributes to the sacredness of life that only our Creator knows its reason for being. That truism alone shows why one must pray before meals. Perhaps, that too should be in the mind of a hungry lion before eating a cornered prey especially if that victim is a human being.

One has to die so that another creation has to live.  That alone may justify the killing of an animal. Life for life.  But when the flora and fauna are massacred to prove one’s dominion over nature, to be sacrificed to the altar of greed and profit, or worse, for sports, that is a categorical manifestation of a human being, having been made in the likeness and image of God, to be reduced to a mere beast!

Yes, the Homo Sapiens is a failed species.  This latest species that came about some 700 million years ago while plants and animals came about some 3 to 4 billion years earlier (thus, by seniority they have more right to live) has done so much harm to Mother Earth.  Yes, we are now in the 20th year of the 21st century but we do not know any more if we can reach the 22nd century which is only 80 years from now.  To quote a known Canadian environmentalist, “. . . at the rate we are destroying the ozone layer and the world’s resource base and subjecting to extinction some 100 species of flora and fauna every day, what seems unimaginable may become possible, which is, the end of life on earth.”

In the Philippines, the fourth hardest hit by climate change, the reality painfully bites: we have massacred the billions of life forms in the last one hundred years, turning the country from paradise, being before the richest in terms of mega-diversity, now to a land of ecological disasters. A more precise declaration from a Lumad leader foretelling of an impending disaster if we continue on sacrificing nature in the name of so-called progress: “Only when you have cut the last tree, only when you have caught the last fish, only when you have dried the last river, only then will you realize that you cannot eat your money.”

A colony for more than three hundred years, having supplied the timber needs of the world in the past one hundred years and now glaringly a neo-colony of imperial powers, we have committed the biggest massacre of all times, erasing all endemic life in the 17 million hectares of dipterocarp forest.  The center of the center of marine life on earth, the Philippine Archipelago, became before the  dumping ground of toxic industrial waste from Canada and subjected to Muro-Ami by Japanese trawlers during the Martial Law years.

These life forms that constitute our ecological wealth have sustained the life of the Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years in the spirit of sharing and loving, are nowhere to be found.  Oh, pity our ecological people!  They are now the poorest of the poor. According to them, “. . gikan gayod kay Magbabaya ang kinaiyahan kay kini dili lamang tinubdan sa kinabuhi kung dili, mao ang kinabuhi mismo. Angay lamang gamiton sa malungtaron ng pamaagi para sa padayon sa kinabuhi kay ang tanang kinabuhi nga makit-an sa kalibutan, balaan gayod.”

All the dear animals, plants, fish and what have you, have lived and giving their lives so that human beings may live to fulfill God’s mandate as God’s stewards, such truism has made life so meaningful, dramatic and worth-living—all, for God’s glory.

Oh my God, that wasn’t the case.  All of them have been sacrificed to the altar of greed and profit for self-aggrandizement of a few powerful oligarchs to dominate the world making human beings just brutes and beasts in a world that has been characterized with so much unbridled materialism and consumerism! Life has ceased to be sacred but diabolical!

For the coronavirus, human life is flawed and it must be erased. Not anymore. All life is sacred, especially that of the human being that has been made in the image and likeness of God, and must not be erased from the face of the earth. Feel therefore the sacredness of life to counter the pandemic.