The Green Platform, the Positive Force for Change
Fr. Shay Cullen
5 August 2016
A friend of mine wrote a dedication to his latest publication, a book titled “Living the Green Platform.” In the dedication, he said, “Continue to find joy in your life and bring joy to others. You are truly Good News for the suffering poor.”
He is one of the most positive and affirming persons I have ever met. And it is from this belief in the goodness that is in everyone and the capacity of everyone to be positive, self- affirming and affirming of others that he has developed a basic philosophy of positive living which he names “The Green Platform.”
This is taking a dedicated, positive view of life even amid hardship, loss and setbacks in life as opposed to taking a negative self-defeating position. The contrast he makes is with the opposite, the negative “Red Platform” where many people unfortunately stand. That is an attitude to life we are challenged to leave and transfer to the positive “Green Platform.”
Declan Coyle is a brilliant and inspiring public speaker. He sees positivity almost everywhere and calls on everyone he comes in contact with to step away from a Red Platform of negativity that has a defeatist attitude and a loss of self-confidence and self-worth to a conscious effort to have a positive view of one’ self and life itself.
It’s a very real challenge to live out his affirming statement for me to find joy in life when our team at the Preda Foundation in the Philippines is faced with so many social and personal problems of the neglected, abused children and the poor.
In the challenging situation where children as young as ten are routinely and casually imprisoned behind bars in dreadful circumstances and many children are trafficked into the sex industry and many more are sexually assaulted, it’s natural to feel at times hopeless. But he is right- we can find hope and joy and happiness in the lives of the positive people and events around us.
After rescue, affirmation, therapy and freedom in a family of friends, the children change to a positive self-affirming way of understanding themselves and base their good choices on this.
In the training program, we follow the Green Platform and teach the children who see themselves as victims of brutality and abuse to throw out the negative feelings of hatred and anger and have emotional relief and then choose to embrace the positive values that we show them that they have within themselves.
This is transforming. It brings a great sense of inner freedom and confidence that one can face the world and its challenges. This is what I learn from Declan- think and act positively especially when the negative aspects of the world challenge us.
When others fail us, we need to choose to take a positive attitude or we fail others and ourselves. We can choose our response. We can take responsibility for ourselves.
That is where we need to be strong, determined and have a positive approach and avoid falling into despair and blaming ourselves or others for everything that goes wrong. We have to accept responsibility for our own decisions. We need to choose wisely.
In our work it is the children who recover that bring us joy and hope. I cannot forget one of the many
abused children, call her Mae Anne. At eleven years old, her parents separated. She was continually sexually abused by her father and was taken from place to place when neighbors became suspicious of the relationship. Mae Anne was totally in his power and control. She was submissive and subdued. she was defeated and lived in fear.
At 14, she was made pregnant by her father and gave birth in a local government hospital. Yet no one challenged the father when he signed a document of live birth to say he was the father of the baby by his 14-year-old daughter. And yet, there were people of concern in the village when she returned with a baby.
They contacted the Preda child rescue team and the team immediately got Mae Anne and her baby to the safety and caring staff at the Preda Home for Girls. Her father was arrested and is in jail and on trial.
Today a year later, with help and support, therapy, affirmation, encouragement inspiration, typical of the Green Platform, the young teenage mother and the child are well and she has a positive, hopeful attitude for the future. Her recovery has brought us joy, too.
We need hope and determination and never to allow a setback, human mistakes, misunderstandings to stand in the way. As Declan writes in the preface of his latest book “Living the Green Platform,” the Green Platform is an inner place where we consciously choose all that is positive, uplifting, creative joyful, inspiring, compassionate and generous. It’s where we generate positive energy and choose actions that bring joy to others.
Declan Coyle’s excellent life changing books “The Green Platform” and “Living the Green Platform by Declan Coyle are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Declan says, the power to choose how to respond to a given situation is at the heart of the Green Platform. We can choose our response. What makes us truly human is the power to choose, free will, and the power of reason to direct that choice with wisdom. This power is what will empower each and every one of us and transform our lives.