Yesterday, my wife Lisa and I went to the Audubon Society here in Central Florida. It was a very touching experience, seeing the magnificent birds of prey and the people who have gone to great lengths to take care of the injured and sick ones. Eagles, falcons, owls of multiple variety and other winged creatures called this place home.
If you have ever gone to such a place, invariable you will say out loud, as part of your internal dialogue or hear another individual utter the phrase, “This is so sad but. . . there is nothing I can do.” I found myself carrying on a conversation that began with said phrase and about half way through, a nagging gut feeling was telling me that something was just not accurate.
The amount of help people, animals and issues that dear Mother Earth needs can be overwhelming. It sometimes feels like I am staring up at Mount Everest and asked to climb it, wearing shorts and sneakers. At such moments, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness come for a visit.
I do not always know what to do but there is always a powerful sense of what not to do.
I never let hopelessness or helplessness or any of their “relatives” stay very long. A brief conversation, cup of coffee and then I insist they leave. After all, I have work to attend to. In other words, drowning in despondency has never helped an injured eagle. Inspired, informed action has.
Find the gatekeepers — the individuals who are in charge and after doing your research, talk with them. In my experiences, they are usually very busy but will make time for enthusiastic individuals. Ask the questions of aspiration, “What can be done?” and more so, “How can I help?” There are always ways. This is always something that I can do.
I also avoid the blame game. I love my friends but disagree with some on this point — Most corporations are not evil or destructive. They are not the problem. Yes, there are the Monstantos of the world and others that are just horrible but they are the exception, not the rule.
Yesterday, we jumped into our Honda and drove to the Audubon Society. On the way, we passed Barnes and Noble, FedEx, Staples and several other stores that we frequent. Also, I made some notes in a book from Wiley & Sons and talked about restarting Japanese lessons via Skype. Upon arriving and paying with our Visa card, I took pictures with my Apple iPhone, loaded them to my Gateway computer hard drive and uploaded them to Facebook where at least 6 people enjoyed them. These companies may not be perfect but I view them as more representative of the norm.
For me, it is not about “them” and how “they” are the problem. It is more a question of what can I do. How can I contribute? At the end of the day, every problem and every solution is created by the individual.
Finally, here is an odd thought. Think of the greatest pieces of information you have ever received. The greatest advice you read or heard. . . . . . . and delete them from your consciousness. You must find your own way, you own path. The “there is nothing I can do” crowd has never done anything, except complaint and expect others to follow suit. Take the initiative. Be the leader.
Carl Sandburg once wrote, “There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.”
Time to be an eagle.