Embracing old-school values in modern world

>> Saturday, November 4, 2023

EDUCATION UNBOXED

Erwin L. Rimban

In the bustling streets of our modern world, it seems we've become entranced by the allure of showmanship and glamour. Everywhere we look, we're met with a cacophony of dazzling lights, impeccable fa├žades, and the grand spectacle of it all. It's as if we're living in an era where the spotlight never dims and every moment is an opportunity for performance. But as we revel in this spectacle, perhaps it's time to take a step back and revisit the old-school values that were once the guiding stars for generations past.
The Wisdom of Simplicity
    In the old-school era, simplicity was celebrated. Honesty, integrity, and humility formed the bedrock of communities. Handshakes and a person's word held weight; character was more valuable than reputation. In a modern world obsessed with appearances, it's easy to overlook these enduring values. But simplicity reminds us that beneath the glittering surface, authenticity still matters. It's a timeless reminder that what's real is often more valuable than what's flashy.
Diligence and Hard Work
    Old-school values were epitomized by diligence and hard work. The ethic of rolling up one's sleeves and giving one's best effort was the cornerstone of personal and professional success. In contrast, today's world often clamors for quick results and instant gratification. We're seduced by the idea of reaching success effortlessly. But it's in the diligent pursuit of our goals that we truly grow and achieve greatness.
Virtues of Patience and Persistence
    Old-school values extolled the virtues of patience and persistence. They taught us that success often comes from unwavering determination in the face of adversity. In our modern world, where everything is instant, we may be losing touch with these qualities. But, just as our predecessors knew, it's the steady march forward and the endurance to weather life's storms that yield the most profound achievements.
Showmanship vs. Substance
    In the modern era, showmanship has become king. We're captivated by flashy displays of wealth and success, often at the expense of genuine substance. In this pursuit of appearances, we sometimes forget that it's the substance of character, values, and authenticity that truly define a person. Old-school values remind us that lasting impact is created not by how you appear but by who you are.
The Allure of Instant Gratification
    Instant gratification has become the siren's call of the modern age. We want it all, and we want it now. But the old-school values of discipline and delayed gratification served as the rudders that guided the ship of life. They reminded us that the sweetness of success is intensified when it's savored over time. It's an art we should not let slip away.
The Importance of Community and Connection
    Perhaps the most poignant old-school value is the significance of community and connection. In a world where digital interactions often replace genuine human connections, we risk losing the deeply rooted sense of community that once defined our lives. We must remember that, in times of joy and sorrow, it's our connections that sustain us and give our lives profound meaning.
    In our quest for progress, we've undeniably gained much. The marvels of technology, the glitz of glamour, and the allure of showmanship are undeniable. However, in this grand spectacle, let us not forget the timeless wisdom of old-school values. Integrity, hard work, patience, and community can be our guiding stars. They offer a compass to navigate the complexities of the modern world while remaining grounded in principles that have stood the test of time.
    For comments and reactions, you may send an email to: elrimban@alum.up.edu.ph


EDUCATION UNBOXED

Erwin L. Rimban

Urban ecology and shopping malls: A delicate balance

TUGUEGARAO CITY -- The modern urban landscape is characterized by a ubiquitous presence - the shopping mall. These sprawling consumer paradises have become integral to the cityscape, shaping not only our shopping habits but also the very ecology of our cities. The relationship between shopping malls and urban ecology is complex, offering both opportunities and challenges. In today’s column iteration we will delve into the impact of shopping malls on urban ecology, discussing both the positive and negative aspects of their presence in cities.
    To understand the influence of shopping malls on urban ecology, we must first explore their origins and evolution. Shopping malls, as we know them today, began to emerge in the mid-20th century in response to the changing retail landscape and consumer preferences. These enclosed, climate-controlled spaces offered convenience, variety, and entertainment under one roof, revolutionizing the shopping experience.
    The proliferation of malls in urban areas was driven by several factors, including population growth, increased car ownership, and the desire for centralized shopping hubs. Malls provided jobs for thousands and generated substantial revenue for cities through taxes and rent. However, this exponential growth raised critical questions about the ecological footprint of these massive structures.
    While shopping malls have come under scrutiny for their ecological impact, they have also contributed positively to urban ecology in various ways. One significant benefit is their role in reducing the need for extensive urban sprawl. By concentrating retail and entertainment options in one location, malls help preserve natural spaces on the outskirts of cities, thus limiting habitat destruction and promoting biodiversity conservation.
    Moreover, malls can revitalize city centers by drawing people back to these areas, thereby reducing urban decay and enhancing overall livability. The adoption of energy-efficient technologies and sustainable design practices by some modern malls has further lessened their environmental footprint. Green roofs, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting systems are just a few examples of these eco-friendly initiatives.
Despite their positive aspects, shopping malls also present significant negative consequences for urban ecology. One of the most noticeable impacts is the physical alteration of landscapes. Large mall complexes require extensive land development, often leading to the destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems. This habitat loss can have long-lasting effects on local wildlife populations.
Furthermore, the construction and operation of malls contribute to the urban heat island effect. The vast expanses of asphalt parking lots and concrete structures absorb and radiate heat, causing localized temperature increases in urban areas. This not only affects human comfort but also disrupts the surrounding ecological balance, making it difficult for certain plant and animal species to thrive.
Another concern is the resource consumption associated with malls. These complexes require significant amounts of water for landscaping and cooling, and they consume vast quantities of electricity to power lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems. This high resource demand can strain local infrastructure and contribute to environmental degradation.
To address these ecological concerns, cities and mall developers have begun implementing strategies to mitigate the negative impact of shopping malls on urban ecology. Green building practices and sustainable design principles are becoming more prevalent in mall construction. These include using energy-efficient materials, incorporating green spaces, and installing renewable energy systems. Mixed-use developments that combine retail spaces with residential areas and green spaces are also gaining popularity. Such developments promote a sense of community and reduce the need for extensive commutes, ultimately decreasing the ecological footprint of malls.
As we look to the future, the role of shopping malls in urban ecology may undergo significant changes. The growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility is likely to shape mall development and operation. Expectations include a continued integration of technology, such as smart building systems, energy-efficient lighting, and advanced waste management.
Moreover, malls may increasingly serve as community hubs, offering not only retail and entertainment but also green spaces, farmers' markets, and educational centers focused on environmental conservation. By evolving into more than just shopping destinations, malls have the potential to positively contribute to urban ecology.
Shopping malls have become inextricably linked with urban life, and their influence on urban ecology is undeniable. The delicate balance between the positive and negative impacts of malls on urban ecology underscores the importance of responsible urban planning and design. By adopting sustainable practices, promoting mixed-use developments, and learning from both success stories and challenges, cities can navigate this complex relationship and ensure a more harmonious coexistence between shopping malls and the ecosystems of our cities. Only then can we truly achieve a delicate balance that benefits both urban residents and the environment.


EDUCATION UNBOXED

Erwin L. Rimban

Climate resilience: Mitigating global disasters

In a world where climate change is an ever-present reality, the need for climate resilience has never been more urgent. The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, from hurricanes and floods to wildfires and droughts, serve as stark reminders that we must adapt and mitigate the effects of a changing climate.
    Our communities, regardless of their location, are vulnerable to these global disasters. But the good news is that we have the power to enhance our resilience and reduce the impact of such events. It begins with understanding the challenges we face and taking proactive measures to protect our environment and our way of life.
Understanding the Climate Challenge
    Climate change, driven by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, has led to rising global temperatures. This warming, in turn, triggers a domino effect of climatic shifts. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are becoming more common.
    One of the most alarming consequences is the intensification of natural disasters. Hurricanes now carry more destructive force, flooding is more widespread, and wildfires are more frequent. Communities are left grappling with the aftermath, facing not only immediate damage but also long-term economic and environmental consequences.
Building Climate Resilience
While we cannot completely halt climate change overnight, we can take meaningful steps to build climate resilience. Here are some strategies that individuals, communities, and nations can adopt:
    Sustainable Practices: Embrace sustainable practices in everyday life, from reducing energy consumption and waste to supporting local, eco-friendly initiatives. Small actions add up and contribute to a more sustainable future.
    Disaster Preparedness: Develop comprehensive disaster preparedness plans that include evacuation routes, emergency kits, and communication strategies. Regular drills and community involvement can enhance preparedness.
    Infrastructure Improvements: Invest in resilient infrastructure, such as flood defenses, sustainable urban planning, and infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather events. This not only protects communities but also creates jobs and fosters economic growth.
    Reforestation and Conservation: Promote reforestation efforts and conservation initiatives to protect natural habitats and mitigate the effects of climate change. Healthy ecosystems play a crucial role in absorbing carbon emissions and regulating weather patterns.
    Renewable Energy: Transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Clean energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lessens our reliance on fossil fuels.
    Education and Advocacy: Raise awareness about climate change and its impact on global disasters. Advocate for policies that prioritize environmental conservation and climate resilience.
The Power of Community Action
Climate resilience is not solely the responsibility of governments and international organizations; it begins within our communities. When neighbors come together to address climate challenges, they become more resilient and better equipped to respond to disasters.
Community-led initiatives, such as tree planting campaigns, sustainable agriculture practices, and local clean energy projects, can make a significant difference. They not only reduce carbon emissions but also enhance local resilience to climate-related disasters.
In conclusion, the path to climate resilience is one that requires collective action, education, and a commitment to sustainable living. By adopting these strategies and working together, we can mitigate the impact of global disasters and build a more resilient world for ourselves and future generations.
Let's embrace the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to create a more sustainable, resilient, and vibrant community—one that is better equipped to face the uncertainties of our changing world.
For comments and reactions, you may send an email to: elrimban@alum.up.edu.ph
 
 
 

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