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Human Dignity

8 Dec

“The belief that each human being possesses a metaphysical value simply in the fact of his or her existence remains at the root of John Paul II’s indefatigable defense of human dignity.” Pope John Paul II’s advocacy of human dignity in the article gave me as a reader a beautiful meaning. Before I thought that human dignity is something that we should be given. I suppose we need to shout at the top of our lungs in order for the society to give us this inherent power that we have. But the pope gave me the alternative, which is the fact of this supposed ‘dignity’ that we all possess.
During the time that I was reading the article about the Sudanese and Palestinian women I realized a lot about the diversity in our cultures. While some of us have been strutting along the streets with shorts and sando paired with flip flops, in the other part of the world comes an ego-feeding sovereignty that forbids women even just to drive or talk to a stranger. Whatever their rules are, my point is that while we feel here in our democratic country that we can do anything and be liberal about our rights, still there are places that do not practice the same democracy that we have and worse the human dignity that we all possess is not respected.
The pope had said in the statement that the objectivity derives form the universality of human nature according to which every human person possesses the potential for intelligent and free action. The subjectivity flows from the fact that the human being may employ the intellect and will creatively to constitute the individual self. The subjectivity of the matter is what makes the countries like those in the Middle East not practice their human dignity themselves because they do not respect the others’ dignity as well. And so far as to what I have learned, human dignity is respecting others’ as well.
These instances go to show that human dignity is a real issue in our present society. It is by respecting others that we live up to our own self-dignity. While dignity is inherent, respecting it is not. And while it is inherent, if one does not respect others’ dignity is erasing his as well.
I must end with an on-point statement from the article that is the letter of the pope to a French theologian. “The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation, indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person. This evil is much more of the metaphysical order than of the moral order. To this disintegration, planned at times by atheistic ideologies, we must oppose, rather than sterile polemics, a kind of ‘recapitulation’ of the inviolable mystery of the person..”

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Give Earth A Chance

13 Oct

Addressing the effects of the climate change is easy preventing it is not. That is what I have learned in the past few months from the course Environmental Management. Although a lot of efforts have been put to alter the effects, the world is slowly being consumed by its temporary success and in this won battle there would be winners and losers. Though this “success” gives us high economy and stable monetary value, I know we would all be losers in the end if we do not do something about this. As what Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs sang in their great refrain, “all we are saying, is give Earth a chance” and this paper would give the earth a chance by writing what I think I can do as a student and a future HR practitioner.
While the United Nations has its own way to probe the causes of the global warming and has been (ineffectively) attempting to alter its effects (Kyoto Protocol), we the students may also give help in our own petty ways which if done so with a great number and consistency (which is what is lacking for most environmental movements) may impact the whole community. First, is the overly clichéd starting with one’s self. Overused as it may sound, the very essence of this is true to its bones. Like recycling paper, segregating e-wastes and dumping it in their designated dumpsites, promoting paper drive (which is currently happening with the collaboration of DBME organizations), using energy-efficient technologies, promoting the welfare of the environment. All of these I can say are very fundamental. Although this may be a good change for an individual, this will not be felt if done alone. Just like what we have read and discussed in one of our class sessions, if San Beda is doing community service and promoting the welfare of the environment but its surrounding establishments does not do so, it will all be useless. If one does not cooperate in the chain, then all of its efforts in the chain itself will be useless. So it is not just our only job as students to start with ourselves since this would be a senseless attempt to alter the global warming effects, instead the more important thing to do is to SHARE THE WORD. Share to the community especially to the ‘slum’ areas since they are the ones who are gravely affected by the effects. I guess it is a good idea to expose us to those communities next semester because we may practice what should be done, we may experience what it really is like to live in those areas and what are the key problems we should observe to be able to help them in those areas and go back again to have a solution. This may not change the world, but it will have an impact to the slum areas, which are the majority of the city dwellers. And who knows how much this may affect Luzon or maybe the Philippines.

“Six out of every 10 people in the world live in the Asia and Pacific region. Climate change will have a major impact on many of the people living there, particularly where there health is concerned. Many parts of Asia will harbor climate victims of its remarkable economic success.” (Globalization and Climate Change in Asia: the urban health impact) “The nineties brought the realization that even if the economics and ecological issues were addressed well, projects could fail as a result of the exclusion of the ‘people factor’ if not the social issues around development were not recognized.” (Sustainability and waste management article) These two quotes from the articles that we have read relays a message about the adverse effect of the economic success Asia has been experiencing in the past few years. Since I am only a student until next year, I wanted also to discuss how I could help as a future corporate worker. Due to the trend of eco-friendly strategies of the companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Reverse Logistics are 2 of the many techniques corporations are recently practicing. CSR in a nutshell is the practice where management does not only think about the stockholder but the stakeholders as well. Reverse Logistics studies cost-effectivity and eco-friendliness of a product it produces up until its maturity stage, on where to dump it, what are the materials that may be re-used and things like that. As a future HR Practitioner and a Leader (claiming) I would promote not only these two but I would also pioneer a movement regarding e-wastes. Here in our country, we are not fully aware of the effects of non-segregation of e-wastes but truth is children are suffering especially those in the Payatas, not only because of the typical wastes but because of the chemical content it has. It is one of my advocacy to start being aware of what is the content in each wastes that we have. In the article ‘Your iPhone’s Afterlife” the protagonist found out that there are ‘wastes’ that costs a lot when dissecting old technologies. Although optimistic as it may seem, we cannot erase the fact that there are still wastes after dissecting those things and the seemingly probable argument here is where to put those wastes. These are the problems manufacturing companies must be able to address sooner or later. Applying reverse logistics may be a big help to the corporate world but without letting your chain know, it is useless to practice this. That’s why it is very important to tell on to one’s supply chain these problems and to give incentives to those who will walk with those kinds of practices. This is what we should do in the corporate world.

Lastly, what we can all do regardless of our level in society, gender, monthly income, occupation is to gain more and more knowledge on what is happening in our environment. Being aware is a big step towards altering the negative effects of this so-called “Global Warming”. Knowing is one thing but sharing what you know is another and it is better. I guess it is safe to say that the exposure that we will encounter next semester to the communities will urge us to gain more knowledge and will help us address the key problems in the slum areas and what can we do about it. This new tradition will give the following communities further study of their problems and due to the consistency, it may be addressed with a long-term solutions especially when all of the courses in San Beda will be immersed. This may help the Bedan Community be aware of what is happening in the ‘slum’ areas and may share and inculcate the values that a true Bedan should have.
All of these may seem petty compared to the articles that we have read in the class, but all these are steps toward the “Kyoto Protocol” of my community, if not, only better because this is a slow step-by-step process but with accuracy and consistency. This may not be that big of an impact to the world, but changing one person’s perspective at a time is a big change for me. The environmental management class did not only teach me the technical terms in the environmental world, but it has made me aware of what is happening and what is to come. As what I have said, change starts with the knowledge. And now, I am willing to make a change because of the knowledge I have received and I am willing to pay it forward and teach others to do the same.

Greener pastures

29 Sep

The three articles that I have read are really about energy and the environment. How does it affect us in the long run and how can we put up with it. Is it really there already or we can radically change the outcome if we start changing now? This blog explains the things I have seen and my concerns and actions about it.

“Further, if the expansion of population and energy consumption were to continue at the same rates throughout the next 100 years, as seems plausible on the basis of Putnams. Estimates, the total energy input required for the next century might approximate 200 Q. This would clearly demand large new additional sources of energy” This statement puts the energy on the limelight. The question is how can we really produce more energy if the world just keeps on demanding for more and more. This article was written for more than a decade yet the issue as it seems is the same as we have now, the only difference is that when this was written there are more supply of energy than now. And this makes it worse for our generation because if this is the problem more than a decade ago, what more it is now. The real issue here is as what we have discussed before, if in the supply chain one producer or consumer does not practice eco-friendly ways of producing or consuming its goods, the transition to eco-friendly practices will be of a hard time since the chain is not consistent with its advocacy, and that is our problem today.

“In considering the future, we know that one route has already been closed: we no longer line in a world in which the need of consuming countries determine the price and availability of OPEC oil. Instead the oil-exporting countries behave in their own logic” This world is now becoming more selfish as generations pass by. It’s not only that we exploit resources for our own benefits but we also take advantage of the resources that we have in order to manipulate the money. Not saying it’s a bad thing to use our resources to make money, what is bad is that we exploit resources (which by the way are non-renewable if further used selfishly) without ever replenishing them. There are more terms now than ever before which can be added to the term “illegal” because of the innovative ways of people to exploit resources. And in this statement, it shows how the OPEN countries have manipulated the cycle of oil in order to gain advantage. This might be the reason behind the western media’s coined term of “ISIS” and their destruction in order for the US to take over their resources. The world is chaotic as it was. But I know it’s never too late to do something better than this. Seems far enough to connect but if we just practice being an ecological community here at San Beda, we can start anew and influence everyone to do the same.

 

“Even if energy innovations have a lot of potential, they might not be deployable until its too late” As what the article have said, it’s taking too long for the innovative technology to penetrate the market. All we have to do is to let the government fund these technologies and help them produce this. This is not only to get funds from the government but this is to let the production increase as to decrease its prices. So everyone can afford it not just who are well-off. Because the people who are most affected with this change are the ones who cannot afford to buy these technologies.

All in all I just want to make a change. And as a student I can do so by being an example myself. To live an advocacy of becoming greener is not easy but it will surely affect those people around me and may change their perspective. We can change the world by changing one person at a time, and it had to be you.

God and Green

25 Aug

     God made a place where His love can be seen, and this is the earth. I can only imagine how the earth is kept revolving perfectly around the sun all these years and how it never clashes with the other planets. God made this for us. His love abounds and this can be seen by how everyday, we are made to breathe and wake up to a new day. There are places like the Himalayas where the nature is totally preserved but with the lifestyle that humans tend to adapt over the years, it has made the environment lose its beauty and wildlife. In this blog, we can see how we can get back on track and how our spirituality and inner being is directly related as to how we perceive and take care the greens and blues of the earth.

     The Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH) is a dynamic landscape with a rich and remarkable biodiversity. Stretched over an area of more than four million square kilometers, the HKH region is endowed with a rich variety of gene pools and species, and ecosystems of global importance. The region, with its varied landscapes and soil formation, and variety of vegetation types and climatic conditions, is well known for its unique flora and fauna, and has a high level of endemism and numerous critical eco-regions of global importance. But, with the rapid increase of climate change, physical manifestations of it will include broad, heretofore-unknown temperature increases (with decreases in some places), shifts in ecosystems, and increased frequency and duration of extreme events.

   This gives us an idea what is there to see at the Himalayas, which is a fountain of biodiversity. With its rich and unique fauna and flora, it is home to a lot of unique species. But, at the latter statement it includes the effects of the climate change to the said mountain, which is an overview of how a lot of mountains will look like if we do not start to change the way we live. This is just one of the many mountains and forests that we have which may soon decay if humanity would only help lessen the rapidity of the climate change. As what Al Gohr always say, what we are experiencing is only a global warning and may soon turn into global warming if the people continue to consume more of non-renewable resources and do not make something about replacing them.

     This problem we are facing about the environment is rooted in a spiritual crisis. The outer is a reflection of the inner. Thus, uprooting the environmental crisis requires alleviating the spiritual ailments of modern humanity. This perspective is from our Islamic brothers and sisters and it seems to be that regardless of the differences that Christians have with the belief of Islamism’s, they have a few good similarities and this is one of them.

     Simply put, the environmental crisis is an outward reflection of the inward crisis of modern day humanity. It is not just the environment itself that is in crisis, but humanity as well. In fact, humans’ own inward disharmony serves as a causal force for the disharmony prevalent in their surroundings. Humans’ lack of self-discipline and morals—such as in excessive consumption and a lack of compassion—has translated onto their environment and into the crisis apparent today. The root of humanity’s disharmony with nature is therefore the disharmony within humans’ own selves. More specifically, this inward crisis is a spiritual one. The lack of spirituality

     Personally, Islamic’s perspective about the environmental problem of the humanity makes me believe that the root cause of all these is really the humanity themselves. While the humans tend to have an option to not worship God, the nature does not have the advantage to do so and given this situation, we have a role as the stewards of the environment to take care of the environment. And having that love and compassion to take care of the environment all boils down to how you perceive love itself. And it says in the article ‘In order to understand how to best travel on the route of love, humanity can best turn for guidance to the Loving. A turn to God, regardless of the sacred tradition taken by each individual, is necessary for lasting inner peace. Humanity’s solution to the environmental crisis depends on a solution to its own spiritual crisis, which, for each individual, depends on his or her relationship with God.

 

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Aging Earth: How can it slow down?

21 Aug

    The world is not the same 30 years ago. With that little time, it has evolved into a less conducive world to live in. Why? because it’s sustainability is rapidly decreasing and people are indifferent when it comes to this matter. It’s like when all the trees are cut down, when all the animals are dead, when all the water are poisoned, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will people discover that we cannot eat money and how much time do we have left if we wait for a miracle for the world to sustain itself. We need to start now and factors like environmental awareness, sustainable development, religion, human health, and development may help in some ways. This blog is about how we 21st century people can stop the aging of the earth.

     In the past, the world’s ecosystems were able to absorb the ecological damage resulting from extensive industrialization and development. However, with the rapid increases in global population and industrialization, as well as enhanced demands on natural resources such as fresh water supplies, the earth is no longer able to sustain a healthy and balanced ecosystem. This very statement is the root cause why it is vital to study environmental management. As future HR Practitioners, working hard for our future companies is not the trend anymore. But, with the environmental crisis, we should also consider how to work with the company and at the same time consider the stakeholders, AND the environment. This has led me to a conclusion wherein we need not just to feed our selfish and hungry nature but also, we need to know and continuously study how to sustain our resources.

     By this, sustainable development is now considered by many organizations and their stakeholders as being the model to follow. A coordinated approach is required to solve environmental problems. There is therefore a need to have a better understanding of the multidisciplinary interrelationships between sustainable development, human health and the environment. Specific emphasis was placed on globalization and sustainable growth, bioethics and poverty, organizational performance and sustainability, environmental management and individual progress, human and ecosystem health, and water resources and recycling. These subtopics are what the author of the article considered as the vital points to study because understanding the topics may lead to a harmonious relationship among industrialization, environment and human health. As what I have said, having a sustainable development means having harmony among the three.

     Another question caught my eye in the article that I have read – “Making Peace With The Environment” it states there that “The world is precariously situated; if we are not at war against nature, at least a deep-seated ecological violence prevails.” deep. seated. ecological. violence. These 4 words describe what is happening to the environment. Despite some revolutions and activities to eradicate environmental violence, it is just that hard to run it because face it, resources are there to be used as ‘RESOURCES’. But the right question there is, “how much is enough?” and personally, calling myself a “semi-growing” environmentalist, I could say that my religion brought a lot of things to me being one. We are taught to be stewards of the environment.
     In the book of Genesis, while the Lord said ‘it is good’ after 6 days of making the world, on the 7th after making the man He said, “‘Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on earth…’ God looked at what He have done and all of it was very good”
     Religion—which is a complex of beliefs, practices, symbols, values, and institutions—has considerable influence in the public sphere, an influence beyond the impact on individual adherents. Most if not all of the religion has something to say about the environment. With the articles that we have read, muslim, catholics, christians, buddhism, they all have one thing in common to say about the environment and that is either to be stewards or to become one with the environment. This harmony that the religion is bringing to the minds of the people is powerful because more than the individual impact, collectively, it can start a movement and affect the environment greatly. If only all the people would be so religious to their beliefs then the world can be a conducive place for the next generation to live in.

25 Things You Have To Try In Your 20s At Least Once

11 Oct

Things I must do soon!

Thought Catalog

1. Call that person you’ve been thinking about for longer than you can remember, but whose rejection you have always feared. Just pick up the phone, hold your breath, and accept the fact that knowing how they feel is better than living in limbo.

2. Go on a camping trip with a solid group of your friends, a cooler of drinks, and enough grillable meats to last you for at least twice as long as you actually need. Get really scared when you think you hear a bear, and then realize it’s just your friend coming back from peeing.

3. Learn how to make your favorite restaurant dishes, even if they don’t taste as good as the original. Learn what actually goes into the food you love so much.

4. Apply to a job that you really want, but which you know you have next to zero chance of actually…

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Innovation in Operations

3 Oct

     Recently, I have stumbled upon a website that seems to tap the innovation that is possible in operations. Ironically, it is saying that benchmarking within the industry will not poke breakthrough but outside the industry is where one may find their magic. 

     Basically, it meant to say that by looking for role models outside your industry, you can achieve breakthrough, how? Benchmarking within your own industry is unlikely to uncover breakthrough concepts. But techniques used in other industries with seemingly very different characteristics may turn out to be unexpectedly applicable. for instance, from the article I have read, in the 1980s, Taco Bell transformed its restaurant operations by thinking about them in manufacturing rather than in fast-food terms. The restaurant chain reduced the amount of on-site food preparation by outsourcing to its suppliers, centralizing the production of key components, and concentrating on assembly rather than fabrication in the restaurants. The new approach lowered Taco Bell’s costs and increased customer satisfaction by ensuring consistency and by allowing restaurant personnel to focus on customers rather than production.
 
  Another innovation is to identify and defy a constraining assumption. At its heart, every operational innovation defies an assumption about how work should be done. Zero in on the assumption that interferes with achieving a strategic goal, and then figure out how to get rid of it.

      Make the special case into the norm. Always think of alternatives for the best solution there can be outside the usual work done in a specific situation. Thinking not just outside the box but taking the situation seriously and thinking there is no box at all. 

Lastly, Rethink critical dimensions of work. Always go back to the core vision and mission of the operations and rethink the operation and evaluate the constraints. Make the design of the operation suitable and customized to the standards and expectation of the consumer. Apply design thinking as it pins down the core problem, emphatize with the customer and rethink the situation, after all these is a solution called a prototype. This may be helpful in such a way that the producers and the consumers altogether meet their standards and all those can be achieved by a good management of operations.