Real friends of the earth on Earth Day: Deepak Chopra, Prince Charles, Sylvia Earle, James Thornton, Brian Eno

Pay attention folks. Did you notice that today is Earth Day? Maybe not. These days many of us only pay attention to such moments if we get a paid day off work. Cynicism aside consider how much we can do with one day.  I have to admit, my action on the day is nil.  This is unless you consider sitting at my computer reading tweets, viewing videos, scanning blogs count as action. 

Ok, let's reframe, my physical action is nil, yet my inspired action is 100%.  Otherwise I would not be moved to sharing this post.  So what moved me?  Well a few different experiences as follows:

Deepak Chopra reads letter by Chief Seattle (Chief Si'ahl of the Duwamish Tribe)

In this video we are reminded of the wisdom so inherent in the once strong and self sustaining Native American culture. From the words of this letter we are reminded that the Earth is like us, a living, breathing organism, a life of it's own. The principle of ownership is in question. Just like no one an own us, neither can anyone truly really own Earth. Yet we convinced ourselves otherwise and changed the course of nature.  Rather than continuing to promote separateness we all have a chance to really go deep and feel the similarity, the parallel of our choices in living with those of how we treat Earth.  Really it starts with a change of perspective.  So if you are ready for your own paradigm shift with Mother Earth, then please watch, reflect and consider your position.

Another kind of leader using his name to put some clout behind action...

So this is such a contrast, I know. Speaking of the historical leadership above brought to life by a modern day spiritual teacher we now shift to modern day royalty using it's traditional clout to get people lined up for change.   Yet for once I like the fact that a person of political standing is trying to use his name, (well almost if you consider that he just has the Prince part included) to get people to rally around helping stop destruction of the Earth's rainforests. The deforestation is a serious issue that may get parked aside by most of us who are far removed from the direct exposure to Amazon and other equatorial rainforests.  So consider for a moment if YOU were standing, or even more so, LIVING, in or near one of these forests being totally destroyed. Would you let it happen?  Well from the inactive seat of the chair in front of your computer screen you can do something. Watch, reflect and act.  How you act is personal and up to you. Maybe you can write. Maybe you can give money. Hey maybe even you can go on a trip around the world and stand in the forest and see for yourself what is happening. Yet a start is to raise your awareness now about what is happening and the impact this devastation is having on Earth and the way we all live, survive.

I like the public awareness campaign summary to just see the diversity of initiatives and reach. 

But on a more serious note consider this little clip...

Earth is more than what we see

Not to leave you in the negative and dark side of the challenge facing us globally consider as well Earth's natural beauty.  For me the real beauty of the Earth is not necessarily the land but the vast oceans covering the planet. I experienced a rapid increase in awareness after seeing Sylvia Earle speak in a Ted Video. Her passion is infectious and clearly a driver along with others in creating change.  We often take Oceans for granted because unlike the story above, no one can buy the ocean, and unlike the rainforests, we don't see the ocean go away because the action is underneath. Yet so much change has happened out of our sight that we can not even go back.  Instead it is time to try to be aware, change our habits and stop unsustainable practices.  Perhaps the collective effort of some passionate souls will make the difference for the rest of us.  Because these people are willing to get out where not too many of us are prepared to go they are leading the cause for change. So pay attention.

Check out Sylvia Earle and be inspired. 

Two movies to see for the visual reminder of the beauty of Earth.  Maybe the more we appreciate and are grateful for what we do have we will be less destructive.

A new movie launched within a campaign to save the oceans.

Stills from the visually stimulating movie Earth.


And last but not the least, lawyers, yes, lawyers keeping everyone honest

I first discovered the amazing work of Client Earth when I attended a talk last year by Brian Eno and James Thornton at the Luminous Festival in Sydney.  If you have not yet discovered this organisation it is time to check out what happens when lawyers with a conscience get together.  To me it's a bit David vs Goliath, as in the small group of committed and passionate lawyers come together to keep the governments and businesses honest by adhering to legislation. Of course they also contribute by influencing legistation with a view towards defending Earth and speaking up on Earth's behalf.

A final word from Jenn

Overall I have only taken a quick snapshot of a few initiatives. To me the above are great examples of people making a difference through their passion and commitment. There are many more of course.  The challenge then is to decide in your life who to you support.  Unlike barracking for your favourite football team, choosing which team to get behind simply increases the momentum of all people helping the Earth.  So don't worry about who you help out, just help out!

Get creative about how you support.

The easiest way to support a cause is to do it through your own interests and passion. When we sign up out of peer pressure or to be on the bandwagon our interest often wanes.  Also we can get supporter fatigue when we try to support too many causes (I am guilty here-just check out your fan page list).  On the explicit front the way you help can range from ethical investing to maufacturing earth friendly products.  On the implicit front you can support the people who help Earth directly. For example, you may be in a role at work that has little exposure to the above causes. Yet you may be able to help a person who does make a difference.  So know that no matter how many degrees of separation you are from the direct change agents, you can help somewhere down the line. Just do your bit.


One more thing....Did you see the movie Happy Feet? If not then watch it.  If you do then wait until that very last scene.  It is the essence of that scene that I see unfolding in the world today. That is, unless we move the debate to the boardroom, unless we get the influencers on board, there will be no change, and possibly no Earth ever the way we see it above in the beautiful images and movies.  So no matter what your position do your part.

Jenn Shallvey