Caring for the Earth with Leonardo Boff

The world famous philosopher, theologian, and environmentalist Leonardo Boff visited the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace campus in Costa Rica on April 4th, 2013 to talk about “The Emerging Paradigm of Knowing How to Care.” Around 80 people participated in the face to face seminar. This seminar was also broadcast via internet, and around 100 additional people were able to join the seminar online.

Mr. Boff reflected on one of his books related to this topic, “The Necessary Care” (2012), in which he articulated that care and sustainability go hand in hand, reinforcing one another mutually. He mentioned that to face the world’s problems caused by the uncontrolled globalization and desire for power based on violence and domination, we have to reintroduce the idea of care, linked to ethics, values, spirituality, and affection in our decision making. He argued that the concept of sustainability is now partly monopolized by economic development, and therefore it is important to add the notion of care to the definition of sustainability itself. He offered three justifications for this: 1) because we are all coming from one mother’s care; 2) because caring should be prior to any action; and 3) because we love what we care. Mr. Boff made a parallel with the way the Universe was created and is now balanced to a great and fundamental care for all existing elements.

He also stressed the primary importance of adding the principle of care in education, especially from childhood. He mentioned that there are two ways to learn: with love and with pain. Emotional intelligence and the learning of care are fundamental for paving the way to a better future. He stressed the necessity of speaking about these principles and expanding the notion of care.

Mr. Boff referred to himself as a “cultural agitator”. This really caught the attention of the online audience, and many of them decided on the spot to start a new Facebook group called “cultural agitators”, and plan to keep reviewing Mr. Boff’s thinking on sustainability and care.

Follow this link to see the recorded version of this seminar.