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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

Inclusive development
and synergy

It's, of course, good that our political leaders are talking about inclusive development and growth. Let's hope the interest is genuine and is sustained to its last consequences. We just have to clarify what “inclusive development” really means, see what ways we can achieve it and what things it requires.

Inclusive development is when such development and growth is a product of the work or due contribution of all the components of a given society. It also means that the fruits of development are equitably distributed and enjoyed by all.

This is the ideal. The reality is, of course, always a work in progress with all kinds of hurdles to overcome. But one thing is clear. All efforts to pursue this ideal simply cannot be based on some economic, social or political maneuverings alone, much less, on some systems and structures only.

The first requirement is that all efforts in this regard, be they economic, social or political in character, should be an offshoot of a genuine spirit of a universal and inclusive love and concern for the integral development of everyone.

Without this spirit clearly motivating all these efforts, things just cannot prosper and are doomed to collapse sooner or later. There might be some temporary advantages and benefits, but for sure these cannot last long and may even be a sweet poison.

And this spirit is none other than the spirit of Christ who is the pattern of our humanity in all its aspects, and the redeemer of our damaged human condition here on earth. This spirit of Christ continues to intervene in our life, shaping and directing it to its proper end. We need to correspond to this reality as fully as possible.

When we have this spirit of Christ, we will realize that inclusive development is a matter of truly loving everyone as he or she is, and also as he or she ought to be. It does not treat everyone in the same way, since not everyone is the same. The distinctions and differences are acknowledged and are acted upon accordingly.

It's an ever-dynamic process, guided by some rules that in themselves also have to be dynamic, never frozen and static and simply applied blindly or indiscriminately. These laws and rules have to continually evolve and refine themselves to better adapt to the conditions on the ground.

Of course, these laws have to be clear about what are of absolute value that should not changed, and what are of relative value that can change and sometimes, should change.

With this Christian spirit, inclusive development is a matter of creating a synergistic mechanism where all the components and sectors of a given society mutually help each other.

This Christian view of inclusive development is not blind to the fact that there are people and sectors that can be considered as weak, helpless and unproductive like children, the old people,those with disabilities of all kinds—physical, mental, emotional andeven moral.

The quality of inclusive development can somehow be gauged by its efforts to look after the weak sectors of our society. In other words, more than just economic, social or political measures, it is the kind of charity that is involved that would determine the kind of inclusive development we are pursuing.

This Christian view of inclusive development certainly requires that each one of us truly care for one another. Our concern for the others should go all the way to their spiritual and moral needs, not just their economic needs, etc.*

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