Sunday, February 26, 2006

Words from Thomas Jefferson

As this blog is about change, here is a very applicable quote from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I just updated my Nature Blog. It helped me to refocus. I remember as a child being overwhelmed by the need in the world. I was bombarded by messages of how the world was in trouble- starving people, animals going extint, crime, garbage and forest fires. I seemed to get 2 messages- I was responsible and that it was too late.

I have always felt passionate about nature and animals. That is where my joy and strength are and I came to a realization, I couldn't do it all. I chose to focus on environmental education. I've been working as a natualist for about 14 years. I've seen a great deal of bad environmental education. The kind that leaves you numb and hopeless. Much of the education about global warming is done in this fashion, so is it surprising people tune it out?

There is something called Learned Helplessness. I believe this is the greatest enemy to change for the better and the way to combat it is to give hope. Yes, we need to inform people and make them see the problems, but then we must make them see there is hope. Hope is real, not an illusion; look at the the Bald Eagle or Peregrine Falcon. Drive up I-90 and see the green. Know that there are people and organizations succeeding at preserving the environment, feeding the hunger and changing the world. Remember the world is full of beauty.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Long walk

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
-Nelson Mandela

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Last Saturday I gave a short presentation about Heifer International at a dessert/fundraising event for two seniors from a local high school. As it was the girls' senior project, I am sure they had certain requirements to fulfill for the event. It was pretty fancy, with rented linens, cases of wine, & candles, complete within a gorgeous, & I'm sure extremely expensive, house (which was actually two houses combined). The event was very lovely (& raised over $1,400 for Heifer), yet I couldn't help but think about the money that had been spent to put the event together with such elegence. Hey, I'm all for fancy events, but when raising money for the poor, it seems to make one even more aware of the horrific unequal distribution of resources in the world. Who knows, maybe displaying that difference so obviously makes people more aware & more willing to donate!
My point with this (I promise I have one), is that I myself am hoping to put together a large awareness/fundraising event for Heifer this fall. It's been an idea in my head for years & I really feel that this is the year to do it. This recent event I attended helped me to picture what this large Heifer event should look like. I want reality, I want the truth, and I want it blatant. I want people to realize, as much as possible, the conditions in which much of the world's population are living in. I want to start with that awareness, somber & shattering, & then (here's the trick)...transform it. Show people how the conditions of life can change when given the means & education to build livelihoods. Turn it into a celebration in support of that change (picture global music, dancers & food). I want an event that is open to everyone & that is an education in how we can end global hunger & poverty. I'll be discussing this idea much more in the next couple weeks, at the Heifer potluck I am hosting this Friday & at our Heifer volunteer meeting on February 25th. With the much needed help of other volunteers, & the aid of numerous community businesses & groups, we can pull this event off. So, let me know if you this is something that interests you, or if you know a business or friend who might be able to help out with the logistics of a building, food, entertainment, etc. You will all be invited--more details to come...