“Doing the best I can!”

Sep 21, 2019 | Blog | 4 comments

You have likely heard of Greta Thunberg, but have you heard of Wangari Maathai?

Maathai told a version of Greta’s story in this video published back in 2010, long before Greta began her work. The story Maathai told is much, much older.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGMW6YWjMxw[/embedyt]


I first heard of Maathai when reading from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to my daughter Ella. Maathai was a social, environmental and political activist from Kenya, and the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize. In the mid-1970’s Maathai started the Green Belt Movement focussed on planting trees.

Yesterday morning I was making my usual morning coffee stop as was my friend Ryan Windsor. It’s an interesting time now for Ryan and I (details in a post I am unlikely to write. ????) I’m always hopeful for a robust, healthy and respectful discussion about the important social, environmental and economic policy issues, good governance and a quality democratic debate…
Okay, moving on.

Best to do something!

As we reconnected over coffee, Ryan thanked me for my post about environmental optimism and our tendency to focus on fear and anxiety associated with climate change. There is a lot to be concerned about, there is too much to be afraid for, and likely not enough of our response embraces an optimistic approach.

He shared with me Maathai’s recounting of the story of the Hummingbird and the Forest Fire. All the many well-equipped animals were paralyzed by the belief they could not make enough impact on the forest fire alone, so they did not bother trying. Yet, the hummingbird who can only deliver one drop of water at a time, positively does the best that she can.

As I stood and watched youth from Greater Victoria join millions of their peers from around the world emphatically demanding climate action from leaders like me, and my friends like Ryan and Elizabeth (May), I think of Greta. She is the hummingbird. What started as a single child skipping school to make a point, is building into an unstoppable force for change. At this critical time I hope we all will do the best that we can.

Image by Hundefan from Pixabay

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  1. Donna Dempsey

    Love this message
    Thank you

  2. Mikkel Schau

    Another image from the “die in”, not as powerful as the hummingbird story, was that
    while parents were lying down, the little two year and three year old kids they had brought, were crawling over the bodies. Having fun.

  3. JoAnne Jarvis

    Lovely! Brings a tear of hope.

  4. Maureen McGuire

    Thanks for this Adam. An uplifting message to forward to my grandson.


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