I carry this portrait in my heart beside the one of the Jamaican iguana that’s in my first post. It is from a series of photos Robin Moore took when the Goat Islands in Jamaica were under threat of development. Iguanas and people were under threat, but I only spoke about the iguanas.
I’m putting this photograph here because of the voice in my head that’s saying, Some people think you only care about reptiles. It’s not true. But I am on this earth to speak for them. Here is what my cousin Heidi wrote to me on Facebook:
“…I have a hard time coming up with the “right” words but here goes. I have memories of you as a child (8 maybe) at the lake devoting many of your waking hours searching the dark woods for life.
“I think we probably searched the nearby “cut” and Houghton Lake too. The point I want to make is I think you were born with a very specific purpose (gift) to observe and preserve reptilian life. I’m fascinated to read your blogs and learn what an advocate you have become in addition to the research you are doing. Keep up the great work!”
Heidi’s letter reminded me of something Jane Goodall said in THROUGH A WINDOW. (It is one of my favorite books.)
“Often I am asked whether I do not feel that it is unethical to devote time to the welfare of ‘animals’ when so many human beings are suffering. Would it not be more appropriate to help starving children, battered wives, the homeless?
“Fortunately, there are hundreds of people addressing their considerable talents, humanitarian principles and fund-raising abilities to such causes. My own particular energies are not needed there.”
It is a challenge to be an advocate for reptiles and wildlife in these times.
I just found this and I like it very much:
“There’s something about you. A quality you have, a skill you’ve refined, or a perspective you’ve honed that’s completely unique to you…
…The world doesn’t need you to replicate what they’ve done. It needs you to find a similar courage and tap your own uniqueness to create value for others.
It’s easier said than done of course. But it’s far from impossible.…”