Sometimes our challenges seem insurmountable. Between a tyrannical boss, needy children, and inattentive spouse we feel like we have daily battles to fight. However these are all external battles. What if our battle was with our own body?
Imagine being born with cerebral palsy and being restricted in the use of the right side of your body. Imagine the physical challenges that would come from that ailment. Then imagine the social stigma, especially as a child, you would receive. Imagine the challenge of finding a job and being able to function in your position.
These are all challenges Paul Delger faced and overcame. Paul has battled these difficulties with a strong faith in God, a strong will and a sense of humor. Paul now speaks to groups to motivate people to face their challenges with a fighting spirit. Listen below to learn about Paul’s “fighting spirit” and how you can awaken your own. Everything can be overcome.
My first conscious memory that we had a responsibility to the environment was in the form of two public service announcements. The first was a Native American crying by the side of the highway telling me not to litter. The other was Smokey the Bear telling me that, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Obviously a lot has changed since then. The importance of education has not. Awareness is one of the first tools I teach my clients. Without awareness, there is no change. Without change, our current habits can cause permanent detrimental issues for us and those around us. One of those issues revolves around how we treat Mother Earth. Mother Earth is a resilient being. She has the ability to shift and change and evolve as we humans create new pollutants and unnatural forms that do not easily or quickly break down. She is a more powerful being than we are. But we don’t have to make it tough on her. And if we leave it up to her, she could make catastrophic changes that would affect the human race. Simple awareness is needed. Are we creating in unison with the earth or are we creating things that harm the current environment? Are we doing all we can to recycle, reuse, or repurpose what we purchase? Are we consciously consuming? Simple changes in our daily habits can make large impacts to the planet we call home. Nancy Pearlman is no stranger to the world of environmental education. She coordinated the first Earth Day in Southern California back in the 1970’s. ENVIRONMENTAL DIRECTIONS, her international weekly radio series, was started in 1977 and is now the longest-running environmental radio series in the country, with over 2,000 shows to date. As Executive Producer and Host of the three-time EMMY-nominated environmental television series ECONEWS, Nancy covers every ecological issue. Over her forty year career she has worked with hundreds of conservation organizations, serving as administrator, founder, member of advisory councils, participant, and member of boards of directors. She founded the Ecology Center of Southern California in 1972 and Project Ecotourism in 1993, Humanity and the Planet in 2001, Earth Cultures in 2004, and Nancy Pearlman, the Eco-Traveler in 2007.
Listen to Nancy Pearlman on The Empowerment Show to discussing the power of environmental education.
I watched a wonderful film the other day, Opening Our Eyes: Global Stores about the Power of One. The movie shows individuals all across the world and close to home who are making a difference. Whether they are opening orphanages and schools in Nepal, providing clean water in Peru, or helping the teen homeless population in Australia these average people are having a major impact in the lives of others. Although their stories are amazing I often find them to be so far away from what I feel I am called or able to do. Could I take my life’s savings and invest it in a community on the other side of the world? Could I stand up to politicians to help those without a voice? Could I have the courage to take on an enormous project? The answer is truthfully no. But there is something I can do.
This movie starts out with a quote from Helen Keller I had never heard before, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” I cannot do everything so I will not refuse to do what I can. What a powerful statement. How often do we see the major issues of the world and feel powerless? How often do we say, “I am just one person what affect can I have?” We cannot do everything, but there is something we can and should do. Look around you. Look in your own backyard. Look at your own family, friends, and community. What is there that you can affect? What is there that you can control? What is it that you can do to make the world just a little bit better? It does not have to be grandiose. One of the other points the Opening Our Eyes movie makes is that it only takes one degree for hot water to turn to boiling. What is that one degree for you? Perhaps it can be helping out a family member or friend in need. Perhaps it is volunteering in your local community. Perhaps it is smiling at the cashier when you are buying groceries. All of this has an impact on our world and how we experience it. Here are two ways you can make a difference:
Find ways to volunteer in your local community. Check out HandsOn Suburban Chicago if you are in the Chicagoland area. Hands On is a hub for volunteer activities linking local non-profits with those who want to give back. What I love is that they offer a myriad of ways to give back. If the idea of working a soup kitchen doesn’t interest you, maybe you want to help out by creating a local community garden. Perhaps there is a skill you have like website design or accounting that could be a huge benefit to a non-profit; you can volunteer your time and expertise.
Host a screening of Opening Our Eyes to inspire those around you. The filmmakers Gail Mooney and Erin Kelly are also looking to film more stories for an additional movie or potentially a television series. If you have connections which could assist them or if you would like to help through a donation, contact these wonderful women.
Share below the ways you are currently or in the future making a difference. What is that thing you will not refuse to do?