Sunday, September 4, 2016

#1 How it Began

I think it is only fitting, given the day, to explain how I got to this point and what started me on this quest.

Enter the Crocodile Hunter

I was one of those kinds how could sit down in front of the Discovery Channel and watch it for hours. Granted they had worthwhile programming on when I was little, not the dribble that it airs now (fast N' Loud?) My favorite was Wild Discovery. I aired episodes which followed various hosts as they brought the audience to some remote corner of the globe in order to talk about, what else, animals. It was on one of these adventures that I encountered a madman from Australia. I cannot remember what he was doing, wrestling some sort of crocodilian most likely. What I do remember was his absolutely infectious personality. From the first "Crikey!", he had me transfixed. He had, as I learned much later, many of the qualities that make a great educator. He was engaging, informative and relatable. I felt like I was right there with him crawling through the mud or running across the savanna. There was one problem. I had no idea what his name was! I only knew him as that Crazy Crocodile Man. Fortunately for me, The Discovery Channel must have also saw the potential of this charismatic conservationist. Thus, The Crocodile Hunter came to be.

I watched that show religiously. Every episode was watched , and re-watched, and every detail was carefully cataloged away in my head. Every croc, every snake, every lizard that he leapt from a moving truck in the middle of the outback to run after, every single one. The show also gave me his his name too. He was no longer the Crazy Crocodile Man, he was Steve Irwin. Steve brought me all across the globe. He introduced me to animals that I would never have even thought to look up. And, most important, he showed me that the nature is fragile. That man, through neglect, ignorance, or design, have the potential to do great harm to nature. These adventures and lessons gave me that spark. Though I didn't know it at the time, I had a purpose.

I followed Steve's adventures for years. The he taught and I learned, though by then, he had opened my eyes wide enough to seek out other sources of information and explore nature on my own. All the while, I gave him the credit for inspiring me. Then one day, he left us. I remember that day, though not well. It was a day or so before school would start so, like any good high schooler, I was sound asleep. My mom woke me and shared the news. I will not dwell on what happened next. I saw the news, watched the memorial and wondered what was the world to do without him.

Now, ten years later, I see that though the man is gone, his message lives on. Steve's goal was to bring the word to the viewer. He thought that if he could reach people on a personal level;, that they would then look to preserve wildlife in need. I believe he was successful, I am living proof of that. However I know I cannot be alone. If he touched my life, he touched others as well and that is where the power of his mission can be felt. It is up to us to take up the mantle. I see now that Steve wasn't just teaching us, he was challenging us. He was challenging us to be better. To recognize the perils that wildlife all across the globe face and take what ever action we can to correct that. For some, that means doing cutting edge research to discover different ways to preserve an endangered species. For others, it means donating some sum of money too support those organizations working to improve our relationship with the natural world. For me, that means learning all I can about this fantastically wild world and then share that with others. That's where this blog comes into the picture. It may never be read by a soul. I could, at this very moment, be writing a post that will sit in the limitless space that is the internet, never to be seen again. But it's what I can do. I'm not sure where this journey will take me but I do know that I will always try to help others experience nature and see what I see. I will always teach that we are stewards of this great blue spaceship. And I will always thank The Crocodile Hunter for instilling these principles in me.

I leave you with this:

“My job, my mission, the reason I’ve been put onto this planet, is to save wildlife. And I thank you for comin’ with me. Yeah, let’s get 'em!” - Steve Irwin-

And this: 


No comments:

Post a Comment