22 January 2011

pick yourself up by your own bootstraps

Today I have another important lesson. I actually wanted to dedicate a post to this a week ago, but I am getting to it now.
One of the people I follow on Twitter either tweeted or retweeted a picture of a poster she found. This is what it looked like:

I was inspired when I read the poster. Nice artistic propaganda to get the good vibes flowing. I liked that a lot.
If you want to be happy, and you're not, change what you're doing. there is a famous quote from Maya Angelou that goes like this: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude". Which is true. You are the future. You are a person. And how have all the things in the world been changed or made better? Because of people, just like you. You don't have to be a politician to write a bill about animal rights. You don't have to be a doctor to save someone's life. You don't have to be a lawyer to be the guardian of justice.
It's a simple idea. If you don't like something, only you have the power to change it. Once, I felt a deadline came too early in literature last year. It was a giant reading project and we only had three weeks to do it - to read and annotate the book and come up with 10 journal entries and a scrapbook. Everyone in my class complained about it and they said how they would never get it done. But I was the only one who emailed our teacher, explained the problem, and got a week extension to our project. Problem solved. Everyone finished the project and everyone was happy.
Eighty-two years ago, a man was born (ironically the same year as the stock market crash) into a country that offered him no equality. He didn't like being treated unfairly because of his identity. He had never been given a chance to prove his worth. So he rose up and changed it. He found courage the injustice and his strength empowered the whole population for which he was fighting. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for a whole race because he was not happy and wanted to be happy. He changed the country's fate forever. He changed views and perceptions. He changed lives.
I used MLKJ as my example because it was, a few days ago, his day of remembrance. I, as well as billions of others, admire his courage, tenacity, humility, and of course, rhetoric.
Mohandas K. Gandhi did something similar in his country. So did Nelson Mandela. So have many others for other causes. They changed the world, even if it was only a slice of the world.
You don't have to fight for equal rights for an entire people, but the ideas behind their acts should inspire you to act for something you are passionate about.
Earlier I was on the World Wildlife Fund website. My sister showed me the symbolic adoptions page that they have. They have a list of over 100 animals that are all over the endangered spectrum. When you click on each image, they show you each species' story and how they are struggling. Some of these stories are heartbreaking. Blue whales are at risk because boaters will run into them and not see them. If only their ships were equipped with a device that would warn them of the whale's presence at least 200 feet from the whale so the ship can navigate away from it. And the orangutans' homes are burned down for to build palm oil plantations in Borneo. Rhinos are hunted for their ivory. And one of the worst cases of all are the Amur Leopards. Never heard of them? That's because there are 40 left. In the whole world. There are 40 people in my math class. That small room. I bet 40 Amurs could fit in that room. And that is how many are in the whole world. Never heard of Mekong Dolphins either? Dams destroy their habitats and they are often caught in nets. If only fishermen could be more careful when they cast their nets over.
The point is, the world is full of problems. Endangered animals are only a tiny sliver of the giant global problem spectrum. The good thing is we can help. If you go online to their website, you can "adopt" an animal, sometimes a family, by donating money. They will give you a gift as well - a plush of the animal to represent the animal or family you are helping and a letter from the WWF.
Either way, if you donate $25 or $250, you are helping an animal. Even if your money goes to just helping rehabilitate endangered animals, you are saving their whole species.
So, pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and change something. If you are not happy about something - change it!

1 comment:

  1. hey Meg~ wonderful inspiring blog today. again, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and brightening my day!
    love,mom xoxo