“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Dedicating books means a lot to me. I’ve discovered after two years of writing that if I dedicate a book to you it’s because you’ve helped me in some way to recognise a piece of my own soul. One that I’ve taken for granted. Somehow in seeing what I admire in you – I learn to value a part of myself. I’d not done this for the last one in the current set yet. But yesterday I wrote the following which seems so fitting as we approach Earth Day.
“Reading Reason for Hope by Dr Jane Goodall as I started writing the first book in this series was pivotal. She was the first scientist who I felt had the balance between science and spiritualism. A key that I needed to bring them together in myself. I’d spent too long turning my back on my own scientific grounding. Which is ironic since it was My Life With Chimpanzees which helped me ground my early work when I first started my own school. She’s helped me to come full circle within myself. Bringing two different parts to make a whole. I hope my words will help some of you to do the same. But Dr Jane Goodall has been my teacher. Thank you.”
And it’s not just any Earth Day – This one has a different vibe. How much more conscious are we? Who’d have ever thought oil could lose its value? That goats would take over towns and monkeys would riot? That dolphins would be rescued from our beaches? Two months on this is starting to resemble the reset I’d hoped for.
But I’ve always been in awe of those people who work in conservation. Fighting a diminishing world. My oceanography background has taught me to look below the surface. For the true meaning of behaviour. The true value of education. I always compare my work to peeling an onion. But how do you get up each day – Fresh. To face such adversity. Such destruction? Such loss? That’s all so much in your face? I’ve always had such admiration for these people who can do this task. And do it with such optimism.
How? How do you spend a lifetime seeing the worst of humans and still think the best is possible?
I expect the answer lies in concentrating on the small victories. Holding each one in your heart. Till the next. Knowing they all add up like compound interest. But with a greater value.
There have been so many victories. Big and small. That 11 years on I’m almost unable to recall them all apart. Of course, each one adds to knowledge to help the next. But I’m starting to enjoy this space where all the stories merge.
This is a time of true merging – balance. We are balancing every aspect of our lives. Our work, our family. Our hopes, our sorrows. Our choices, our impacts. Our inner and outer worlds. I’ve spent two years writing about our core. I still believe more than ever when this core is whole, our contribution is clean. It’s unconditional. This is the best possible for me.
Maybe it feels terrifying to some to sit in silence. To stay put. To feel so contained. But the gaps are showing. And maybe it’s only when we see what’s missing we start to seek a whole? An internal core. One that doesn’t need to be filled in every form. That doesn’t cost the Earth.
Naoisé 22nd April 2020
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