“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours.” – Noam Chomsky
Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. (Pope Francis, LS #13)
I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. (Pope Francis, LS #14)
The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. (Pope Francis, LS #159)
REFLECTION: There is a saying which goes, “What we do today affects the future.” Indeed, every act will surely affect the future because the past, present, and future are interconnected. While it is true that we cannot change the past, but we must treat it as a learning experience. This means that, the very thing that the past offers is the learning of that particular T 19 experience whether good or bad. As we learn from our past experiences, we need to enjoy the life that is at hand. The life at present is the important factor in determining the future. The basis, therefore, of a bright future is the action we do today. We must prioritize our need to care for nature. The future lies in our hands; thus, we need to help one another in protecting our environment and further develop it for the good of all creation. The untoward things that are happening to us today are the consequences of our irresponsible actions. Let us rectify our wrong doings and change for the betterment of the future.
Key Statement: The life at present is the important factor in determining the future.
Personal Challenge: I should be mindful of the things that I do now because they will certainly affect the future.
God of salvation, we thank You for Your constant guidance. As we face some uncertainties in the future, strengthen our faith, trust, and confidence in You. We ask You Lord to stay with us so that we will be able to work for peace and experience harmony with all creation. Amen.
ROMANO M. BULATAO is a Professor at Saint Louis University (SLU), Baguio City. He completed his AB Philosophy in 1990 at the Saint Anthony Mary Claret College (SAMCC), Quezon City; MA Religious Studies in 2003, and MA Philosophy in 2014, both in SLU; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theology, Major in Missiology, at the Institute for Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) – SAMCC in 2021. Mr. Bulatao served as the Department Head of Religion at SLU (2006-2009); and President of the Kapatirang Claretiano Inc. – Pangasinan Chapter (KCI-PC), since 2011. He is the author of the book entitled Touching Thoughts A-Z published in 2009; translator of the Novena to Saint Anthony Mary Claret (from Pangasinan language to English) published in 2015; and the Novena kay San Antonio Maria Claret (from Pangasinan language to Filipino) published in 2020 by the Claretian Publications. ((firstname.lastname@example.org)