Finding meaning in uncertainty

2000 years ago something life-changing happened to a young couple. It was news of a child. It was news unexpected. It wasn’t something they prepared for.

Yet it was welcomed with meaning in the midst of uncertainty. It was looked upon as a blessing from the Divine: a child born of a virgin. Little did they know that this child was the embodiment of God’s gracious condescension to actualize love in tangible terms as, Immanuel, among the presence peasants, foreigners, an unmarried couple and a flock of livestock all outcasts under the shadow of the Empire.

In the obscure little town of Bethlehem, everything came to a halt as heaven and nature sang a joyful chorus to celebrate the arrival of new life.

The Christmas story reminds us that our response to the anxiety of the present, finds cosmic meaning when we look at the unexpected, as a gift that invite us into a journey of encounter with the divine. It challenges us to not be distracted from the unnecessary pageantries that come with the season and calls us to relinquish control and to trust that all things work out for good.

Maybe the banner was meant for them?

I start this blog with a heavy heart knowing that friends in Greenpeace might be offended with opinions that will be stated here. Also I do not have any internal information as to how the recent Greenpeace action that happened in Peru, came about, so what I say here is based on what I see as an outsider to the organization who has been exposed to the public materials made available in the media and through official Greenpeace communication about the incident.

I have worked for the organization close to a decade and I left because I wanted to pursue a different direction as an activist, but also because it no longer felt like the family of equals that I came to know when I joined in 2005. It became more certification driven, in fact it makes me wonder that if ever I have been an applicant to the role I had when I entered Greenpeace now, I wouldn’t probably get accepted for the role if they were to look at my professional credentials.

Nevertheless, as someone who has also been a part of Greenpeace, the Nazca Lines fiasco comes as no surprise: My theory is that the organization’s thrust in recent years to professionalize1 itself requires it to open up the organization to many professionals who for better or worse are professional in their field of expertise but have lacked the vision and heart to see their work as a vocation. Professionals who will likely spend less only 6-10 months at a given office detached and uninterested with the work, the kind that's present on meetings but never on activities (action or otherwise); professionalism that doesn't go beyond office hours or on weekends;  has an expertise in skills but lacks heart or interest in the issues Greenpeace works in; present stirring up structural changes backed with data on how we can supposedly increase our effectivity in terms of media coverage and online-to-offline conversion rates.