Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Possibilities Through Partnerships


 Carolina Parakeets (JJ Audubon)

On Saturday I attended the Florida Audubon Academy in
Gainesville Florida and was delighted to deliver a keynote address in the
morning.  There were about 100 Auduboners
from around the state present.  I wasn't
sure what to expect as I was speaking with heart, emotion, and a deep faith in nature
interconnection.  My underlying hope in
this presentation was to share with these people my hope for conservation work
in the midst of heartache and overwhelming challenges, and environmental and species
loss.  My hope, or at least my opening to
possibility, comes from the tremendous untapped potential of relationships in
multispecies communities.  I believe that
humans evolved to both save and savor one another and our world, as well as to
compete and to collaborate.  In facing
who we are, we can then use social intelligence to navigate difficult
relationships and grow our intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.  Just because it is hard, does not mean that there
won't come a time when  birds will fly
free as we too  sense the liberating joy
of loving one another.  I ended the
presentation with my answer to the question, "what are we for?" I
said that for me it is an urgent sense that we must love another or die.

In many ways I was "preaching to the choir." Yes I
knew these folks loved birds and probably faced sadness and despair in their
work.  What I didn't know was how close
they were to the passion of their work that comes from their intense love of
this world, and how close they were to their feelings of both joy and loss.  They expressed to me after the presentation how
much they wished to reenage with renewed vigor, despite the challenges.  In hearing of their work, and their
willingness to risk failure and frustration, I came away strengthened and
reaffirmed that we need to think alike to love alike. The force of this love
may help us partner with one another in unknown, creative ways that may yet be
the saving of this beloved planet.  Thank
you Florida Audubon for the depth of your commitment, and to Jacqui Sulek and Joyce King for inviting me and hosting the conference along with Alachua Audubon,  Marion Audubon, Four Rivers Audubon, and Santa Fe Audubon.

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