edit: Wildcru is actually the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. I left out my most favorite word in the world, Research, which is the foundation of what I do. Shame on me. This organization deserves better than that!
We all remember the story of Cecil the Lion who was hunted for no purpose other than selfishly gracing someone’s mantle. I don’t presume to understand the mentality of those who hunt with no thought to the future of a species, or should I say all living species. Every move we make has a ripple effect, and our choices have to take in more than the present. This thoughtless action caused a global outcry that many understood, and many more ridiculed. Words like “Why worry about lions when humans are dying everyday?” or “How could you kill such a magnificent creature who was so loved?” competed in the midst of a conversation that never gets the full time that it deserves. Probably because we all realize that this conversation is about so much more than a lion. Perhaps the fact that it’s about the eventual outcome of humanity itself because we refuse to think below the surface is the reason why we are afraid to give it voice.
But out of tragedies can come triumphs when we realize what change can bring. These lion cubs are the direct result of Cecil’s life and his legacy. Read the Guardian story, Cecil the Lion’s Legacy: Death Brings New Hope to His Grandcubs if you want to see what a success story creates. It takes courage to stand against a tide of “why bother because nothing changes”. Wildcru (Wildlife Conservation Unit) is part of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology’s attempt to use scientific methodology to address the world’s conservation problems that threaten the natural world. Cecil’s story brought significant funds through donations to Wildcru that allowed a new way to protect our animal counterparts in the wild as they try to survive the frequent overreach of man’s hand.
And this is just one story from one organization which chooses to listen to its heartbeat instead of the profit beat that underpins humanity. People are looking for ways to make a difference. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we were given those all important links like this that will allow us to connect with the beat of our own heart and soul’s desire? What would you do if you had a choice that was more than what’s currently on offer? When presented with daily requirements to choose the “lesser evil”, wouldn’t it be life altering to be given the choice of the ultimate best for the entire planet instead of the blackhole-inducing “what’s in it for me”?
We are in another year of utter chaos that started with the voices of people who have been shouting for change all around the world. Every year those voices become more vocal as the group size increases and puts pressure to “business as usual”. It’s no longer possible to ignore the dreamers who want to create a better life that encompasses the planet and all on it. Those dreamers took us to the moon and beyond, and we still reap the daily benefits from what was created from the ephemeral spokes of what can be done when dreams become real.
What is normal is under attack precisely because it continues to ignore what change can bring. You can’t expect people to continue down a broken path that is littered with the wreckage of the shattered hope stomped out by those who want to limit the future. It’s all about control and those who have it. Why would they want change when they are at the pinnacle of their own possibility? Movies constantly remind us that fantasy and reality are only separated by the thinnest of walls. Today’s reality should make us push for fantasy, if only because the potential is so much more than what’s on offer now. The world today is a pretty crappy place in my opinion, and the opinion of millions more worldwide.
Chaos is scary, but the loss of all dreams should scare us more. Without dreams, there will be no more cubs like those who carry the legacy of Cecil in their very DNA. They are the embodiment of dreams that leap past the apathy that is suffocating the world. When the air runs out, it’s game over for us all. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you just care about something more than yourself. The rewards will surpass all those material things that will crumple with time and selfishness. Life always finds a way to survive. Whether we’re part of a more hopeful future is up to all of us together.
Let’s reach out and make dreams into reality. Just so that we can shut down those voices who have already given up on hope.