A little known fact about me… I have
a infatuation with the royal family. The tradition, pomp, and fairy tale…I just love it all. Over the last two years, I’ve watched closely as Prince William and Kate got engaged, then married, and most recently announced the birth of their first son, heir to the throne, baby George. slight obsession
On CNN on Sunday, there was a special called “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope.” The special was mostly about his fondness and devotion for African wildlife preservation, a cause that his mother and grandmother were connected to also. Being just little ol’ me here in Oklahoma City, I don’t tend to pay much attention to things outside my day-to-day encounters. Well, let me tell you… watching this special really opened my eyes. Of course I’d heard of poaching and how terrible it was, but to see actual footage of elephants and rhinos dying from their tusks having been ripped off, is impactful, to say the least. I’m not so naive to think that I will now devote all of my time and money and energy to helping these animals and preserving this wildlife, although, I would love to be able to do this….It’s simply not my reality. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t share what I’ve learned in the hopes that someone that can do something sees this, or that others will learn about this situation and spread the word.
A year ago, Tyler and I were packing up to head to Kansas City for our wedding. Then we headed to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando for our honeymoon. While at Disney we went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One of the attractions is called the Kilimanjaro Safaris. You ride in a jeep through a “safari” replicated to be like the African wild. To see those beautiful creatures wandering in what appears to be their natural habitats, is… the… coolest… thing! Now, Tyler and I LOVE our Zoo. We’re even “Zoo Friends!” But seeing 3-4 Giraffes in a pen at the zoo, is much different compared to seeing 10-15 giraffes roaming the “savanna” alongside elephants and other African animals, even if it is constructed for tourism. (Can you imagine seeing that in real life? Bucket List anyone?)So, back to the Prince William’s Passion special… It really opened my eyes. I wasn’t expecting the special to be about his connection with Africa, I was expecting it to be about baby George and Kate. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Tyler caught the first 10 minutes with me, and I’m pretty sure we were both choked up by the shocking and horrible images of the rhinos and elephants. I know that television doesn’t even begin to do justice to the African wildlife. Even knowing that, I can’t imagine a) having to witness that in real life, or b) even having the desire to do something so horrendous to these beautiful creatures. I simply cannot fathom why anyone would think they needed the ivory from the elephants tusks and rhinos horns, more than they do.
The special opened my eyes. Like I said, I’m not so naive that I think I will run out, buy a plane ticket to African and begin my journey as a wildlife preservationist… but it doesn’t mean I can’t share my frustration and dreams that this would one day stop and that the wildlife would be protected.
So, the purpose of all this, you ask? What is something bigger than you, that you pay attention to? Is there some part of the world that your eyes have been opened to recently? You feel like you can’t do or say anything about it? You can’t make a difference, but you feel strongly about it? Or it made an impact on you?
What’s stopping you from simply spreading the word?
Isn’t that what life is all about anyways… connecting with one-another?
So, I challenge you to find something outside of your day-to-day interactions, that speaks to you. More than likely, you don’t have to go too far (remember I was wanting to learn more about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their life as new parents!)…
The world’s a big place, and I can’t make an impact everywhere, but from my seat on my couch in my living room in the middle of USA, I can share my experience that will maybe catch on to someone out there who can do something. You never know…
Until Next Time,