I spent John Muir’s Birthday (yesterday), indoors, breaking my ritual of hiking on it. I was sick as heck with a merciless cold. I’m still sick, but in recovery mode. I’m bummed that I missed honoring one of the fathers of conservation’s b-day with a climb into the hills to see the beauty of California. John Muir inspires me the way he does many conservationists. I appreciate what he was able to accomplish within the era that he lived. It’s beyond profound. Just ask Yosemite. I’m not sure one person could replicate those successes today. Hopefully, I’m wrong.
(The pic above is of me and my friend Robert Hanna who is John Muir’s great, great grandson.)
Yet, we often put people like him on pedestals, imbuing them with imagined magic powers, and then get angry and disenfranchised when we learn something was not perfect about them. When we learn that they were just like us, they no longer seem like heroes. Stop that. You’re setting yourself up. Look for perfection and you will discover disappointment, especially in yourself. Everyone is or was works in progress: even Rachel Carson, John Muir, and Jane Goodall. Everyone has a skeleton, or even a whole cemetery, in their closet. I see you. I see me. Any of us can be “heroes” for the Earth. We will be imperfect heroes, for sure. Some us will be heroes with piles of bones in our closets. We should work on dislodging the logs from our eyes before concerning ourselves with the logs in others’ eyes. (Yes, I meant to say “logs” twice).
I think Earth Day is a good time to “see” and reflect on our collective mistakes. And then try to forgive. Our mistreatment of the Earth, and its inhabitants, gets more intense and impactful the larger and more industrialized our population gets. There were one billion of us in 1900. There are almost 8 billion of us just 118 years later. Our “footprint” on this planet has become alarmingly big and heavy. And that’s why we need an Earth Day. That’s why we need an Earth Day consciousness 24/7. We need the forgiveness that action in behalf of our natural systems can bring us. Not just on April 22nd, but on as many days as possible.
Earth Day is a good reminder that we are all complicit in the poisoning of air, soil, and water and the wanton endangerment of so many species that once thrived on this planet alongside us. And that we are all in this together in regards to the Earth’s preservation and restoration.
Earth Day is about acknowledging that there is work being done to make the world a better place and that there’s still a lot more work to do.
I’m going to continue to keep working for a biodiverse Earth. Working for me means being empathetic and taking compassionate action. That’s why I started my YouTube series “Griff’s Wild Tips: to help you to help wildlife and their habitats. I also have a blog at TheNatureNut.org where I provide information to help you to help wildlife. And next month, a network will release their videos of me celebrating wildlife-and animal-solutionaries on their digital platform!!! (Stay tuned! I can’t say more about that now).
Today, I am announcing a new effort! I just “launched” a Facebook group called “Griff’s Wild Tips: Ways That You Can Help Wildlife.” The goal of this group is to equip members to help wildlife and their habitats. We will share simple solutions like teaching you how to tell if the wildlife you encounter needs help or not, or how to attract birds to your yard, to larger things like how to organize a cleanup or restoration event. Again, this is a solution-oriented group for sharing of information about actions we can take to help wildlife and their habitats (homes). It is not a political group. Everyone who has interest in topics related to wildlife conservation from the greenest novice to the career professional is welcome to join. Hunters to vegans are welcome. Conservatives and liberals are welcome. People from all points of the political spectrum are welcome as this will be moderated as a contempt-free zone. Please read the “announcement” pinned on the group page before posting (should be some “ground rules” pinned to the top of the group page). Click here to join Griff’s Wild Tips: Way to Help Wildlife Facebook group.
Happy Earth Day.