On the heels of Leonardo’s acceptance speech at the Oscar’s or his previous speech to the UN summit on climate change, there has been a lot of talk, well criticism actually, about some of our loudest spokespeople. If you haven’t watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s impassioned speech that he gave before the UN, it is worth a watch. Cue the onslaught of climate denialists and well, just general Haters that want to shoot the messenger to distract us from a very important conversation.
Here is the thing; the voice of any celebrity carries farther than that of the average American. Now we could debate whether this is good or bad or justified even, but never the less, it is true. We collectively created these pedestals. So I welcome the Leos, the Mark Ruffalos and Russell Brands of the world. Speak loud and let your voice carry. And please don’t stop.
Are they perfect? Hell no, but here is the thing, we are all imperfect messengers. The vegan who wears leather shoes, the actor/activist who flies on private jets, the health educator who eats poutine. That last one describes me. (If you are not familiar with this delectable French Canadian treat, it is fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy). Now you might think that someone who lectures, and writes about health is a hypocrite for eating poutine. But here is the thing, I’m not flawless either. When it comes down to it, it isn’t perfection that is required. It is balance.
In our personal lives and our environment, we need to strive for balance. This harmony doesn’t require infallibility, only that we come together, united. Sustainability is just harmony in action. I never understood why living in harmony with nature is equated to something lesser. Can’t it be the most important collective endeavor? A rite of passage even. Something that brings us together? There are so many innovations out there, so many other ways to do things. But we need to get past all of this bullshit.
So we can vilify the messengers, but that doesn’t change the message. It is time to see beyond this all or none mentality that permeates the narratives around climate change and their spokespeople. There is not a single person among us who hasn’t lived incongruent to their values. In that, we are all the same. So we can’t let this be a red vs. blue or an either/or issue. It has to be both/and conversation. This requires us to allow all fallible people to speak up because without them there would be no one. Not a single person to champion this cause.
So let’s stay focused and don’t get deterred because we need every player in the game. We may be a motley crew of recovering addicts, private jet flying activists, giant green rage monsters and soccer moms, but let’s all use our voices and surrender to the fact that we are all imperfect messengers. But if our message is a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable world for every living inhabitant on this planet we can be strong in our resolve. So speak up, you may not have the ears of the UN, but we all have a voice. Don’t let others distract you from the mission, because it is a noble one. And maybe each one of us can be little more cognizant of our actions, but let us also show compassion and forgiveness for one another when we fall short. When you do something out of alignment with your values, I say, love yourself even more. The world doesn’t need more critics; it needs lovers of all varieties. In the words of the great don Miguel Ruiz, “Always do your best.” That is all anyone can ask.
(c) Can Stock Photo