As a young boy, my father and I watched intently as explorers and scientists of the wild and wilderness shared their worlds with us. Three great adventurers, Jacques Cousteau, Carl Sagan, and David Attenborough brought the sea, stars, and the planet into my family room. With it came a fascination of space, the oceans and marine life. It also spawned an appreciation for something that I might possibly never see or personally witness. There also came a humble understanding that I am an exceedingly small part of a much larger place in time, yet everyone of us has amazing power to make a difference.
Each of us is entrusted as a steward to this planet from our parents, who inherited it from their parents and their parents before them. It is entrusted to us, not given to us to be played with and thrown away. Whether or not we see that place in the ocean, in the atmosphere or stars; or on earth, it is not ours. We are not Master of it. If we destroy our planet, we destroy ourselves. We are all stakeholders, whose needs must be balanced with those we share this gift. What legacy do you want to leave?
David Attenborough—I know it is Sir David, yet he maintains his humility to go by David—released a beautiful documentary on Netflix, “A Life on Our Planet.” I encourage all to watch. As part of his witness statement he stated:
“We can’t cut down rainforests forever, and anything that we can’t do forever is by definition unsustainable. If we do things that are unsustainable, the damage accumulates ultimately to a point where the whole system collapses. No ecosystem, no matter how big, is secure. Even one as vast as the ocean.”
The greater problem for most of us is that we do not visibly see the impact of our daily actions on the greater ecosystem in which we live. Although we are learning about the ways our favorite products are made and how they are sourced, we are now presented with both a multitude of choice and an epic opportunity. How do we choose to make our own impact?
Because wherever you reside, the new game on the planet is about stakeholder focused culture and sustainability. Those who embrace it will experience massive socioeconomic value creation, those who don’t will become extinct.
May these words spark creativity, inspire collaboration, and ignite action to make your dreams the best they can be. By expanding our communications, sharing ideas, and working towards a meaningful purpose, we can accomplish amazing things. This is how I want to make my difference. What is yours?