Draw what’s on your mind. That’s part of the psychological support session that was given to the kids in Cagayan De Oro, Philippines years ago when a flash flood strike the area. It was one of the most devastating stories of my friends who volunteered to help the evacuees. The healthcare team did not just help in the superficial wounds left by the angry flood but they took it deeper than expected.
There are so many kids in the evacuation centre that time but one kid got the attention of the volunteers. Let us call him Dong. Dong is a 5 year old kid and when he was asked to draw what is on his mind, he took a crayon, draw logs and water.[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="officeArt_x0020_object" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" style='position:absolute;left:0;text-align:left; margin-left:-34.15pt;margin-top:15.55pt;width:306.5pt;height:175.7pt; z-index:251659264;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square; mso-wrap-distance-left:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-top:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-right:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:12pt; mso-position-horizontal:absolute;mso-position-horizontal-relative:margin; mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:line' wrapcoords="0 -6 21596 -6 21596 21594 0 21594 0 -6" strokeweight="1pt"> <v:stroke miterlimit="4"></v:stroke> <v:imagedata src="file:////Users/analiabordenave/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.png" o:title=""></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="through" anchorx="margin" anchory="line"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif]
That was expected at least because that was the experience that traumatized his young mind. But this story is only the beginning.
It was a silent night, everybody was asleep. Birds chirping, insects flying. Dong and his family are living near the rice fields and they were all under the blanket because the wind is gushing very strong when all of a sudden, they felt being wrapped in water. Water took their house and they started to float around, it was a flood, an angry flood. Then the most horrifying nightmare of Dong happened.
Swim, glide, hold and grip. That’s something they did for quite some time until the father was able to put Dong and his mother to a tree that is standing still so they will not be taken away by the raging water but the next scene took Dong’s heart to be torn into pieces. He saw his father’s two hands, carried by a log being pushed by the water until it was far, far away and it disappeared like magic. It has been a very, very painful night for Dong.
When my friends asked Dong what happened to his dad, he will just say “he was taken away by the logs and the water.” This disaster is actually the end result of trees being cut, might it be illegal or not. When the heavy rain gave a full power to shower, there were no more trees that will hold the water pouring from up above.
It is actually a call that mother nature can shower us with plenty of gifts but if we don’t know how to take care of it, we will experience the so-called karma.
So how are we going to prevent this kind of scenario in the future and prevent this logs and flood to kill a lot of lives again?
PLANT. There is no problem if you cut trees as long as you know how to replace them. It is as simple as ‘you cut, you plant.’
BE RESPONSIBLE. As settlers of the earth, it is our duty to consume and to be responsible about what we are consuming. If you think you will need to cut a tree, don’t just replace them afterwards, try to make use of the tree you cut in a very wise manner as well. And if ever it is not really needed to cut, then don’t.
PARTICIPATE. Planting trees is one of the things that will increase the awareness of the people that we need these green things to give us the air that we breathe, we need these trees to live a normal life, so participating in acts or organizations that is about saving the world would be a great opportunity.
As humans, we are not just responsible for our lives, we are also responsible for how we will make our home still BE HOME.
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About the author: Rhea Vie Fantone-Schuster