Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full?

Well it’s easy to be a Glass Half Empty person. Just look around. A tide of terror in Iraq; Syria in bloody turmoil; the Eurozone in crisis (again); the US limping out of recession; earthquakes; floods; unrelenting pressure on wild species and habitats; rampant rhino poaching; massive ivory trade; over-fishing; animal cruelty; political indifference..

But that, of course, is not the whole picture.

I’m a Glass Half Full person: South Sudan, a State born in relative peace; the Arab Spring; the optimism of a new Libya; the growth of philanthropy;  the empowerment of women in many previously oppressive societies; the establishment of more protected areas; the ban on seal skin imports by the EU; a new climate control treaty..

And then consider what we at Born Free have been doing too.

Rescuing lions in Ethiopia; exposing the barbarity of the trapping industry in the USA; building lion-proof bomas in Kenya; caring for our big cats in South Africa; investigating zoos in Europe; drawing the curtain down on wild animal circuses in England; supporting wildlife law enforcement in Central and West Africa; helping the Kenya Wildlife Service fight the ivory trade; protecting wild tigers in India; working with local communities in more than half a dozen countries through Global Friends;  rescuing dolphins in Turkey; saving and homing over 100 primates in Texas. I could go on (and on).

I’ve celebrated, raged, laughed, cried, championed, decried in equal measure.

But is that why I am an optimist – is that why my Glass is Half Full?

Not quite: For me it’s because wherever I look, despite all the horrors, I see the innate goodness of so many people. People who will spend their Christmas serving others less fortunate; who will cross the road to alleviate suffering; who care for all life and, in their own way, do what they can to help; who find the time when others are ‘too busy’; who give and expect nothing in return; who stand up to be counted when others sit; who speak out against injustice when others remain silent.

This is what I admire, respond to, am inspired by. The wellspring of humanity (or should that be humane-ity) that, out of a deep-seated and profound sense of compassion and justice, believes in a better world for all living beings – and is prepared to play their part in making that dream a reality.

To you all, I raise my Glass Half Full (which, by the way, is running over).

Happy New Year!


6 Responses to “Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full?”

  1. Lisa Greenwood Says:

    I love getting emails from the born free team .
    I raise my glass to you for your excellent work . Cheers

  2. bo Says:

    I agree with you and would like to do what I can.

  3. Barbara Madigan Says:

    I have supported the Born Free Foundation for many years as I totally believe in their work. I watched the video footage of animals held in captivity in zoos and it just broke my heart to see the mental and physical suffering that these poor animals have to endure day after day. It has to stop now!

    Hopefully Will will be relaying this story in the future as an example of another glass half full!! I hope it is soon for all of those poor animal’s sake.

  4. Rowland Behn Says:

    Just how many times will some people have to pass through this lifetime to learn that we all hold the same life and that showing disrespect to any living thing shows disrespect to all living things – which of course includes themselves. Thanks to Will and Born Free for continuing to give us all the chance to learn.

  5. Sheena Isobel Wilson Says:

    When it comes to animal welfare, it is often too easy to oscillate between Glass Half Full and Glass Half Empty, depending on what happens from day to day. It is undeniable that the idea of giving in can pass ones mind. To help me in times of difficulty, I think of the fantastic work that foundations like Born Free, Animals Asia, and Sheldrick’s, just to name a few, are doing and I also think of all those amazing individual humans that are dedicating all or part of their time to help animals and/or raise awareness and give a voice to those that do not possess one. I am so proud to support these foundations and they give me the strength to continue doing my little bit.

    Thank you Born Free for all you do – the world would be a very sad place without you.

  6. Janet Says:

    Congratulations BF on another great year of successes. To the people out there who want to make money from animals and don’t give a hoot about their well-being, there are many people and organisations out there watching and waiting to foil you. All of us who care can and will keep fighting to minimilise, or even better, eradicate all animal abuse. The EU seal ban was a fantastic victory and congratulations and thank you so much to all who made it happen.