A True Inspiration for Healing Our Planet
Article ID: 13489
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Ashe Sokoll (Tzopilotl)
Posted: November 22nd. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,974
As people walking an Earth-based spiritual path, often we are called upon to be the leaders in areas of conservation, wildlife protection, and healing our Planet. Many times, it is hard to find the inspiration to do so; whether it is because of a hectic schedule or just a lack of knowledge, many people (even those not within the Pagan community) are seriously lacking the inspiration to push them towards the rejuvenation of the Earth.
I would like to share with you my personal inspiration, the person who, since the time I was a young girl, I looked up to. The person who inspired me to get involved with my Planet. The person who I idolize, even in his absence, to this day. The person who changed the way the world will look at conservation forever.
This person is Steve Irwin.
On a recent trip to Australia, I ended up at the Australia Zoo. Built up by the Irwin family from its humble beginnings as the Beerwah Reptile Park (The zoo is located in Beerwah, Queensland) , the facility has grown from a few acres to a sprawling wildlife Mecca. The park is focused on conservation, with many of the animals being rescued and rehabilitated individuals who were not fit to be released back into the wild. As many of you probably know, the most famous residents of the Australia Zoo are the crocodiles rescued by Steve Irwin; or, as he was more affectionately known, the Crocodile Hunter.
This was a man that was able to foster a love of some of the world's most feared creatures through his documentaries. Steve's love of the crocs, snakes and other dangerous animals that made up his homeland of Australia were the staples of the Crocodile Hunter show. At the same time, though, Steve ventured out a lot more into other areas of the world. A famous documentary shows his journey through the Antarctic, where he showed the beauty of an exotic and far-off place but also showcased the issue of whaling and illegal poaching.
Steve was also well known for his adventures in the conservation of Australian Indigenous lands and landmarks, and was greatly respected for the way he treated sacred sites with the utmost care. Steve was an educator and a warrior in the greatest of ways.
Steve Irwin passed away in 2006 after a diving accident involving a stingray while filming a documentary. An outcry among the world's animal lovers ensued; it seemed as if the entirety of the planet, in some way or another, was in mourning. I remember the day well, personally, as I'm sure many people do. Steve's death rocked the Planet in ways people couldn't imagine; a televised memorial to an amazing, inspirational man saw the likes of celebrity, academia and common folk mourn and celebrate the life of a legend in conservation.
I couldn't help, walking through the zoo, taking a quiet moment to view the memorial site to Steve. Thousands of letters, pieces of artwork, and other condolences poured into the zoo as a result of his death; many are posted along this wall and in this area. As a person who greatly looked up to Steve, I took a while to reflect on the man I admired so much from my childhood. Walking amongst the letters, drawings, postcards and photos from people of all walks of life and all backgrounds, I reflected (amongst some tears) . I reflected on not only Steve and the work he did, but on myself, as a Pagan – and what I could be doing to be an ecological leader, like Steve Irwin, and help in the healing of our vast Mother Earth.
Steve Irwin had an incredible impact on people that cannot go without recognition. Whether it was his absolute charisma in the way he seemingly brought you right next to the wildlife, or the way he helped a generation understand creatures that had been feared and disrespected, there was just a way he engrossed you in his work that made you feel passionate along with him. His continued efforts through trial, tribulation and personal hardship to always put his family and his Planet first are so rare amongst people today.
Steve was a pioneer, and a legend. His uncanny ability to connect with nature - or, as his wife Terri calls it, his “bush sense” - is something few people are gifted with. On top of that, though, Steve was an average, everyday bloke; he remained grounded, focused and determined even with the onslaught of celebrity.
The man was one-hundred percent dedicated to what he loved: his family, and the Earth. His impacts on global conservation efforts, anti-poaching campaigns, and human rights issues will never be forgotten.
I think, as Pagans who celebrate the earth as our spiritual and literal Mother, we can take a page out of Steve's book and learn from his wisdom. We can be inspired by his efforts to improve our planet, one acre at a time. As the motto for the international celebration of Steve Irwin Day says, “ONE man can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.” There is no doubt that we can all do our part in conservation.
Take the time out to read more about conservation efforts in your area. Recycle. Start composting. Volunteer with conservation sites and preservations. Learn more about your local wildlife and what you can do to protect them. Take a visit to a zoo and learn about endangered species and how you can save them.
Respect ALL creatures, great and small. Walk, bike, or carpool instead of driving every day. Take public transit! Invest in green energy sources, and replace old appliances with recommended energy efficient ones. Plant some trees, and encourage your city/town/village to “green up”. There are a thousand different things you can do to help sustain this planet of ours – I believe that WE, as a community, can make a difference.
Steve once said in an interview that this planet is our only home, and we would be better off taking care of it. There is no doubt in my mind that Steve was right.
So here's to Steve Irwin, a conservationist, dedicated family man, and a lover of our Earth – let us all learn from this inspirational human being, and pass his message on to the rest of the world. Let us, who walk the Earth-based spiritual paths, be leaders in the global push for healing the Planet.
http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au/ - Support Steve's legacy by making a contribution to Wildlife Warriors
http://www.savestevesplace.com/ - Sign the petition to save a vast conservation area dedicated to Steve's memory from strip mining
http://www.australiazoo.com.au/ - The Australia Zoo: Home of the Crocodile Hunter
http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx - Calculate your Carbon Footprint
http://green.cbc.ca/ - One Million Acts of Green
http://www.thegreenguide.com/ - Green up your day to day life!
http://www.platypus-cards.com/ - Send e-cards that contribute to carbon offsetting!
Ashe Sokoll (Tzopilotl)
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Author's Profile: To learn more about Ashe Sokoll (Tzopilotl) - Click HERE
Bio: Skyhawk is a "scientific" solitary Wiccan residing in small-town Ontario, Canada. She is eighteen years old and has been practicing the craft for five years. As an active "Wildlife Warrior" herself, she often participates in conservation activities and volunteers at a conservation centre in her area. She is also trying to live as green as possible. Outside of her environmentalism, Skyhawk is an avid photographer, musician, and equestrian who has all the time in the world for animals, reading, and her friends.
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