A hero of mine passed away on Sunday. Wangari Maathai died of breast cancer at the age of 71. She is a real life Jonny Apple Seed, planting trees, ideas and inspiration in the hearts of millions.
"Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, working with women to improve their livelihoods by increasing their access to resources like firewood for cooking and clean water. She became a great advocate for better management of natural resources and for sustainability, equity, and justice."- Greenbelt Website
Plants are the source of wealth. Not the stupid autistic stock market. Not balanced spreadsheets. Not subsidies and banks. That's a new contrived system that's only about 500 years old.
Plants are older then time and the workhorses of the planet. Evolutionary wise, we owe plants everything, as turned a hostile environment of carbon, methane and gaseous turmoil into a livable planet to support the evolution of life. If you are a creationist, it's one of the first things God created and called good. Plants turn the energy from the sun into energy we can use to eat, make into into electricity, and in the process creates the air we breath. Forests hold together the soil, put water back into the air along with oxygen, cooling the atmosphere through transpiration. Green makes you happy and relaxed. Being in nature heals the soul calms the mind.
I'd like to see a balanced budget spreadsheet do THAT. [That was for you, Mr. Harper and Rob Ford.]
The world is getting so crazy and complicated we are forgetting the basics.
Wangari was great because she recognized that the solution for complicated issues can come from simple truths... Plant a tree. She didn't listen when others said she was crazy. She spoke and lived her truths, and was rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. Read more here in this New York Times article from 2004.
She did it out of love for her fellow women, love of children, love of this planet, a love of the future. Greatness and strength come out of love, not fear, power or greed. Looking around the world it seems a lot of us have forgotten this.
Do yourself a favour and plant something in her memory. I'm in NYC and I'm not sure how and where to do this, but it's going to happen. Greatness lives on in the hearts and actions of the future. For our future, do the simplest thing and be a Jonny Apple Seed. Or as Wangari said, be a humming bird.