Three moments of inspiration have caught my attention recently.
The massive ivory burn in Kenya, which I was fortunate enough to attend. While some people have trotted out that lame old lament – couldn’t the ivory have been sold, flooded the market, raise funds for conservation (perhaps it would be a good idea if they looked at the history of the ivory trade since 1979, they might change their minds) – the majority, including the thousand or more Kenyans who attended a rain-sodden Nairobi National Park to witness the conflagration, agreed: The only place ivory has any value is on an elephant.
It was a mournful experience but at the same time uplifting. It felt like, for once, the world is moving in the right direction.
I was inspired!
Then there was the 90th Birthday of our greatest living naturalist – the incomparable Sir David Attenborough. No one has done more to bring to our attention the wonders of the natural world in all its diversity and splendour than he. No one has increased our understanding of the complexities of our living planet more than Sir David. And no one has brought to our attention in a more compelling way how the species and habitats we so admire are under threat as never before.
That Sir David is a national treasure is beyond question. That he is a natural treasure is even more fitting.
I am inspired!
And finally, travelling with my mum, Virginia, to make a film encompassing Born Free’s amazing heritage, its present challenges and its ambitious future, has revealed to me what a remarkable adventure she and my late father Bill have taken us on. The time she seems to have – to create, – to speak with everyone, hear their story, sympathise with their predicaments and encourage their efforts, is quite remarkable.
We were thumbing through her copy of My Pride and Joy, George Adamson’s last book which he wrote with my Dad when he stayed with us in England, recuperating from an eye operation. A loose page of blank paper fell out. Except it wasn’t blank. It was covered in my father’s free-flowing, muscular hand-writing. He had written about George and Joy and their abhorrence of zoos. It was a sign. It was as if he were there with us.
We were inspired!
We live in a world of trials and tribulations, a world beset with problems and injustices, so many of our own making.
We all need inspirational leaders who motivate and encourage, who show us how to be better, more compassionate, more humane human beings.
So, who inspires you – and who, in turn, do you inspire?