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One of my favorite words — Safeguarding—Has Apparently found Favor with Pope Francis

By: Brother Coyote

“Our world has become so multipolar and at the same time so complex that a different framework for effective cooperation is required. It is not enough to think only of balances of power but also of the need to provide a response to new problems and to react with global mechanisms to the environmental, public health, cultural and social challenges, especially in order to consolidate respect for the most elementary human rights, social rights and the protection of our common home. It is a matter of establishing global and effective rules that can permit “providing for” this global safeguarding.”

To safeguard is to protect the full capacity of another entity-plant, people, planet—just as we might protect the precious but vulnerable life of any infant. Why is it better than some options? Preserving? It sounds like something you do with jam in a jar or a piece of art in a frame—too static. Conserving? It sounds like the self-designated conservator is in charge of its destiny, and most of us are not. To safeguard means to assist in giving a sentient being a chance to survive and thrive, without pretending that we have authority or ownership over it, or that we or anyone at all has the right to enclose it for exclusive purposes, profit, power or prestige.

Having a baby in your hands is humbling; it does not give us the right to do a “power grab.”

Having a planet in our hands is just as humbling, for we can never fully subdue it for enclosure.  

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