In Chapter Six of Laudato Si, Pope Francis writes:
We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other. Unless we do this, other creatures will not be recognized for their true worth; we are unconcerned about caring for things for the sake of others; we fail to set limits on ourselves in order to avoid the suffering of others or the deterioration of our surroundings. Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.
Pope Francis is imploring each of us towards action. Yes, action from each and every one of us! How will you respond?
Let me suggest some ways to help you respond:
- Start by writing down your goals or commitments. They should be concise, clear, and actionable. Goals like “I will take the bus to work instead of driving”, “I will not eat any meat or dairy products on Mondays”, “I won’t purchase any plastic bottles of water during the month of July”.
- Make a pledge to work towards your commitments. A great place to start is to visit the Living the Change website at http://livingthechange.net and making a commitment to change.
- Now share your goals with a friend (real world or online). Research indicates that publicly stating a goal makes you more accountable and more likely to be successful in achieving it (see https://tinyurl.com/goal-strategies).
So you’ve written down your commitments and made them public. Next week, we will discuss how to convert those commitments into action.
In the meantime, what commitments have you made to take care of our common home and respond to the climate change emergency? I’d love to hear from you. Please consider sharing your experience using the comment form.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.