I was up before dawn this morning, a time very familiar to Steve Irwin, known for not sleeping much. I on the other hand may be a total early bird, but I love my sleep. I was trying to figure out why I was so wide awake at 4 am, then it dawned on me. Today was Steve Irwin Day in Australia and I had not written my blog yet. So here I am in the wee small hours of the morning thinking to myself "don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk."
Steve Irwin was a rare celebrity. He put his time and money where his mouth was. All the money he earned from his Crocodile Hunter fame he put back into wildlife conservation. The Irwin family bought conservation land all over Australia and other parts of the world to preserve valuable habitat. Injured wildlife was cared for, rehabilitated, and returned to the wild no matter what the end cost. Only sustainable food was part of Steve's diet. No matter how busy he became he took time to educate others about how they could help save wildlife. He always made time for his family and mates. These are just a few ways Steve Irwin "talked the talk, and walked the walk." His Family, Terri, Bindi, and Robert still do.
In the seven years since Steve has been gone I have done my best to follow his and Terri's examples. I am almost finished with my university Biology degree with an emphasis in Conservation Zoology. I recycle, limit my trash, eat sustainably and pick up litter when I walk by it. I volunteer as a zookeeper and rescue/rehabilitate/release local wildlife in need or take it to a specialist who can. I fund-raise for Wildlife Warriors. I run Remember wildlife and try to educate others. You would think that would be enough, it's more then most people do, yet I feel like I'm strolling not yet fully walking the walk that Steve Irwin did and his family still do.
Selfishly I want to be rewarded for all my hard work. I want that dream job when I graduate. I want to become the best at what I do. The best conservationist, the best fund-raiser, the best volunteer, the hardest worker...
Somewhere in my goal to walk the walk it became about me too and not only our wildlife. This morning Jills comment echoed through my mind and woke me up, "I like people who don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk.", I realized what more I could do. I could create a balance.
I get really frustrated when people tell me they can't spare a dollar for wildlife then go buy something frivolous and brag about it on Twitter. In order to do better I need to be more empathetic to humans, not just our animal counter parts. I have always thought that since humans can speak up for themselves they don't need me. In truth, there needs to be a balance. I love the Steve Irwin quote "Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.” What I have realized is that even though it is true, Steve still empathized with people too. In Terri Irwin's book she describes how Steve understood the crocodile farmers were all good blokes who just wanted to make a living and were afraid of the crocodiles. I'm afraid I would still want to wallop them every time they hit a crocodile. The point is we all need to find a balance between self, people, and wildlife in order to really walk the walk.
Do Something For Yourself.
Do Something For People.
Do Something For Wildlife.
Find Your Balance and Together We Can Keep Steve Irwin's Dreams Alive. We Can Make Our World A Better Place.
To Help People I recommend donating your time locally or donate $ to www.redcross.org currently typhoon victims in the Philippines need our help. Thousands of people have lost everything, some even their lives.
To Help Wildlife my Steve Irwin Day fund-raising site https://steve-irwin-day-2013.everydayhero.com/au/rebecca-harvey runs through December and makes a great Christmas gift. (hint hint! I really only want this for a gift) This link is in $AU but anyone can donate! To donate in $US see http://www.rememberwildlife.org/donate-sid.html for several options!
To Help Domestic Animals Jill helps run Foster Pets Northwest http://fosterpetsnw.com/ They rescue death row dogs, and help get pets spaid and neutered. This is very costly but even a few dollars can save an animals life. On Twitter @FosterPetsNW
There are always people, pets, and wildlife in your area that you can help. Make the time, Find your balance. Walk The Walk.
Steve Irwin Was ONE Man
ONE Man Can Make A Difference
YOU Can Make A Difference!
Today You Can Watch The Steve Irwin Day Celebrations At Australia Zoo LIVE online http://www.steveirwinday.com/events/live/ Check out the link to watch (time zones listed) It's on at 5:00pm West Coast US Time!
Khaki Hugs To Everyone!