World Paddle For The Planet
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
Apparently we humans are hard wired for survival. It would also appear we are hard wired for social behavior.
“Survival of the Fittest” has been a mantra on the Planet for a long time. Back in the day that simply meant finding ways to prevent becoming a tasty caveman snack for much larger creatures. The pendulum shifted when man invented weapons, fire, the wheel, etc. Man moved to the top of the food chain and “Survival of the Fittest” took on a new meaning. We no longer needed to live in fear of being eaten by much larger creatures, we learned to fear each other and grab what we could before somebody else grabbed it. We are not creatures who let go very easily, and “Survival of the Fittest” worked so well for so long, we found new outlets for this primal mechanism. We became gatherers of a different kind, and transferred those millennia of survival skills to the gathering of money, the creation of “success”. Many of us are quite ruthless in these pursuits, and that ruthlessness is creating challenges for us in today’s World. Our obsession with making and saving money is literally killing the Planet.
From the very beginning we have been social creatures. The word “We” would not exist if we were not social creatures. Who on the planet cannot relate to the image of a parent with a child, two or more friends doing what friends do, family gathering for a meal, etc. We crave human contact, whether we admit it or not.
Our early efforts to socialize consisted in the comfort of numbers to fend off those critters that would eat you. Social behavior combined nicely with survival skills. Over time, as our numbers increased, our social behaviors expanded and grew more complicated. Now, we not only have parents and family to guide us through life, we have politics, religion, education, etc. and let’s not forget the reality shows that help us navigate the social World. We possess a host of emotions and conditions individually to entertain society at large, and in spite of our best efforts it appears we are no closer to really getting along as a global community than we have been at any point in history. That in spite of the fact that we are social creatures.
For all our intelligence we find ourselves in a unique position today. We still have two camps in the World today, there are survivalists, and there are socialists. Getting ahead in the name of success, surviving in today’s World is at odds with a healthy Planet. In order to generate money we take and take from a Planet that is beginning to buckle under the pressure. Ironically, in our pursuit to survive (succeed), we are destroying the very thing that makes it possible for us to live in the first place, “Mother Earth”. Doubly ironic is the social system we have created. We have borders, and rules, and values that would drive a wedge straight through the heart of meaningful social living, which has created tribes of like-minded people that if you don’t share the hive mentality you are branded as different and ostracized. We have essentially created tribal communities with their own set of survival rules. We insist on preserving our own particular tribe as the society of choice wherever we live on the Planet. Even more bizarre, we crave human contact outside of the tribe so we go and invent “social media” that separates us from actual human contact even further. We demonstrate incredible compassion for things like disasters and the victims of disaster, yet we can’t see that we are creating more disaster with our behaviors.
Is it possible that the root of our challenges today are simply the result of our internal conflict to satisfy our need for survival with our need for human contact? “Survival of the Fittest” by its definition requires us to ruthlessly do whatever it takes to stay alive, or in the case of today’s World, “succeed”. At the same time as we would sell our Grandmothers to stay alive, we crave human contact to nurture our Souls! Extraordinary! Reflect that into the World at large and we end up with things like decision makers in government (Survivalists) making every decision through their self-interested lenses of survival. On the other hand we end up with extremely passionate people (Socialists) doing amazing things to build a nurturing and inclusive global community based on their lenses of compassion and deep desire to connect. Social behavior is made all the more challenging by our Tribal Mentality, the need to hang out with like- minded people who share our beliefs and values. Bit of a conundrum, balancing these two polar opposites may very well be the biggest challenge we face today.
Wrestling with these two extremes is not easy. On the one hand Survival dictates that we do whatever it takes to survive, on the other hand we long for something more. Again, ironically, it appears that our very survival as individuals is going to depend on our ability to come together to solve the challenges we have created for ourselves. Climate Change cannot be solved by a minority of the population, individuals working in isolation. Neither can War. Or Pollution. Or colonialism. Or Poverty. Or Greed. Or any one of the thousands of other challenges we face today. Is it time to bury the “Survival of the Fittest” illusion as being past its prime and develop a new “Let’s all get Along” approach to life? Is it time to turn battlegrounds into playgrounds (thanks for that one Hajime)? There is a shift happening on the Planet, a shift that is going to require all of us to put our individual instincts of survival aside and pull together for the survival of “Mother Earth”. The question is, will we?… Or maybe the question should be a statement, “I will We”! I will a compassionate, united, considerate, and respectful global community into existence! “I will We”!…
World Paddle For The Planet Day, September 13th, main event in Tofino, British Columbia. Join us wherever you are on the planet at noon. Together we will send a Wave of Change across the globe. Visit our site www.worldpaddlefortheplanet.com .
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
There are some amazing people “Standing up for the Planet”, and after meeting them through social media and email, I finally got to meet two more of them during last weekend’s trip to Tofino. Tofino is the site of this years “World Paddle for the Planet Day” on September 13th, and I made the announcement a few weeks ago that we will be fundraising for “Clayoquot Action”. I connected with Bonny Glambeck and Dan Lewis through Catherine Bruwhiler from Tofino Paddle Surf who is a good friend, and is also helping us to navigate the Tofino waters, literally and figuratively for WPFTPDay. When I asked Cat who we should raise funds for, there was absolutely no hesitation on her part, Dan and Bonny from “Clayoquot Action”! Cat gave me their contact info, and right from our very first conversation I knew this was the right organization for us to raise funds for this year!!
We had a few conversations prior to my trip last weekend, and arranged to meet the day I arrived. No surprise, Dan and Bonny greeted me with open arms and hearts! We ended up chatting for about 4 hours, some of that over dinner, and were it not for the fog rolling in we might still be there “Talking Story”! Only in Tofino can this happen! Dan and Bonny live in a boat accessible only part of Tofino and kayaks are their modes of transport. Their office is in the south end of Tofino, so to get there they paddle from their home, then walk several blocks to their office. They always have one eye on the weather, it can change quickly in Tofino, and missing the window of weather is the difference between getting home or not.
Their story is amazing! Like so many who are “Standing up for the Planet”, they do a whole lot with very little in the way of resources! This is their mission, taken right from their website, “Clayoquot Action is a Tofino-based conservation organization committed to protecting the biocultural diversity of Clayoquot Sound. Our goals are accomplished through public education, citizen research and monitoring, and advocacy. Clayoquot Action stands for democratic rights, indigenous rights and the rights of Mother Earth”. http://clayoquotaction.org/mission/ Their vision, also taken from their website, “It’s time to create a new story about the role that humans play on Earth, a story that shifts societal values from getting bigger to getting better, and promotes community and cooperation above competitive individualism. Humans must exercise our qualities of high intelligence, forward planning and moral judgment to create a cooperative and sustainable future for all”. It’s no wonder we have such a strong connection with each other!
“Bonny and Dan are lifelong activists, residing in Tofino for 25 years. They are seasoned kayakers, having paddled much of the BC coast and trained hundreds of guides. Knowledgeable naturalists, they have worked in the bush of Clayoquot Sound as salmon and amphibian researchers. When Bonny & Dan moved to Tofino they joined and helped build the fledgling temperate rainforest movement. Their work culminated with the mass protests of Clayoquot Summer 1993, which were the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history and one of their proudest accomplishments. The couple is renowned for delivering entertaining and inspiring slide shows based on their kayaking experiences, moving audiences from laughter to tears as they deliver a powerful and hopeful conservation message. They have traveled internationally to meet with corporate buyers of BC wood products. With the risks posed by salmon farming in Clayoquot Sound, and the possibility of mining becoming a real threat, Dan and Bonny walked away from their company, Rainforest Kayak Adventures, to dedicate their energies to conservation volunteerism, founding Clayoquot Action in 2013”.
Bonny and Dan took a huge risk in giving up their jobs to devote their time to “Clayoquot Action”. To say they are passionate is about as grand an understatement as one could ever make. Every Tuesday evening during the summer they present a multimedia journey of the landscape, wildlife and culture of Clayoquot Sound to educate all who would come. The presentation called “Clayoquot, Sound of Freedom” is free, as in no money charged, nada, nothing, zip! Their activist selves are at it again, this time with the practice of Salmon Farming. A Norwegian company has applied for licensing for 2 new open net Salmon Farms, and Bonny and Dan know all too well what this will mean for Clayoquot Sound and Wild Salmon populations.
It is a huge honor for “World Paddle for the Planet Day” to be raising funds for Bonny and Dan this year, keep an eye on our WPFTPDay facebook page to find out how you can donate.
https://www.facebook.com/WorldPaddleForThePlanetDay You can also donate any time directly to their website, http://clayoquotaction.org/
There are so many who are “Standing up for the Planet”, and I have to thank another one of those people, Leslie Kolovich from the SUP Radio Show for the opportunity to introduce two more who are “Making a Difference” and “Changing the Way we live on the Planet”! Let’s raise a bunch of money for Bonny and Dan and “Clayoquot Action” to help them look after one of the most pristine places on the Planet!…
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
Is what you are doing right now creating a vibrant and healthy Planet?
If what you are doing right now is not creating a healthy and vibrant Planet maybe it is time to do something else!
“Mother Earth” is rapidly descending into an unhealthy state and we, the people, are the driving force at the root of the cause. If you sit quietly for a time, without interruption from the distractions of today’s World, and just observe wherever you happen to be, chances are you will get a read on the health of where you are. Forget the global stuff you see and hear on the news. Sit where you live, and just pay attention to your surroundings. Listen to the sounds around you. Look at the sky, the land, the water, the streetscape, the place you call home, wherever you end up sitting, just quietly observe. What do you hear? What smells are there? Are there other people around? Do they look vibrant and healthy to you? Sit quietly for at least ten minutes, then pay attention to your feelings at the end of your quiet time. Do you feel vibrant and healthy yourself? Are your surroundings healthy and vibrant?
If the answer is yes, keep doing whatever it is you are doing, the World needs more fully alive, fully engaged people. If the answer is no, then I have a challenge for you. Do one thing that makes you feel vibrant and healthy! Do it today, vibrant and healthy people are not procrastinators. Can’t think of anything? Walk up to the next person you see and give them a great big genuine smile! Take a bus to work, and while you’re riding, talk to the person next to you. Go for an hour without buying, or doing anything that is toxic to “Mother Earth”. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Have a healthy meal. Play hooky for the afternoon. If what you are doing right now is not creating a healthy and vibrant Planet, go and do something else that will create a vibrant and healthy Planet!
What if every one of us did a little something today to create a vibrant and healthy Planet, would it be a different World we would create? How different would the World be if we all did a little more than a little something to create a vibrant and healthy Planet? What would the World be like if every decision every one of us made, and every action we took was invested into creating a vibrant and healthy Planet? Sounds like the makings of a great community to me! Personally, I would really like to live in that World!
World Paddle for the Planet September 13, Tofino, British Columbia.
Together we can send a Wave of Change across the globe! Check out our website for more information on how you can get involved in your community! www.worldpaddlefortheplanet.com
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
This is the story of the very first Standup Paddlesurfer! Legend has it that the very first Standup Paddlesurfer was known as “Outstanding”. This story has been passed down over many generations, through many people, and some say it may have been embellished a bit!
Outstanding loved to paddle and was known in the Village as a “Standup” person. The Village thought Outstanding was a bit strange, and wondered why anyone would choose to “Standup” on a board and paddle. They thought it was especially strange during winter storms, big surf, and in the rain. Adding to the strangeness of Standup Paddlesurfing was Outstanding’s habit of raising the “Long Paddle” and talking to the “Air” after every paddle. Because the villagers thought he was strange, they were a bit reluctant to get close to him, so they could never hear what he was saying.
One day, a Villager whose original name no one remembers, decided he also wanted to be a “Standup Paddler”! Legend has it that Outstanding helped the inquisitive Villager by sharing everything he had learned, and called the new paddler by the name everyone does remember, “Paddles a Lot”. As time went on Paddles a Lot, which was a mouthful to say, became known by his short name, “Pal”! Pal was a sponge and learned quickly. The two became fast friends and many believe their friendship is where the phrase “Hey Pal” originated. Outstanding even taught Pal to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after a paddle! After Pal, the Villagers had two “Standup Paddlers” they thought were a bit strange!
After a time, Outstanding and Pal became inseparable. The two of them would go on to share their passion for “Standup Paddle Surfing” with many Villagers during their lifetimes. The only thing they ever asked for in return from those who learned was to share “Standup Paddlesurfing” with anyone who asked! “All Who Paddle” were also taught to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after a paddle, a tradition that continues to this day. The Villagers still find this custom a bit strange, although they are not as freaked out now that there are so many more who raise the Long Paddle!
Outstanding was the first of a long line of Paddlers to raise the “Long Paddle” and talk to the “Air” after every paddle. Paddles a Lot was the first to learn that raising the “Long Paddle” and talking to the “Air” was done out of gratitude to thank the “Creator” for the “10,000 Things”, and with great ceremony to let all the Villagers know how grateful the paddlers were! It was also done to show any Villagers watching from shore that the paddlers came in friendship, joy and peace! This practice gradually came to be known as “Paddles Up” and the sight of a paddle with the blade side up is universally known, all thanks to Outstanding! “All Who Paddle” continue the tradition to this day to remember the very first Standup Paddlesurfer, “Outstanding”, to express their gratitude, and because it just makes sense!
Join Us for World Paddle For The Planet September 13, 2014, Tofino, British Columbia! Join anywhere in the world at noon and lets send a Wave of Change around the globe!
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
I do believe the time has come to talk about beliefs! Beliefs have shaped us for millennia, maybe it’s time to check in and see if our beliefs serve a relevant purpose in today’s World.
Belief , according to the dictionary, is, a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone.
Belief, according to Natalie Cook, 5 time Olympian Beach Volleyball Player, who I recently met, is, a thought that we have over and over.
Belief, according to me, is a multilayered thing. I believe beliefs evoke powerful feelings. Is belief an internal mechanism, or are beliefs externally imposed by those around us? If belief is a thought we have over and over, can we change our beliefs by changing our thoughts? How do we define something that is true? Or good? Or right? Or valuable? It appears to me that beliefs are open to interpretation!
I really like Natalie’s definition!
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Is that a belief? Is that a statement of truth? Is it right? Let’s see if we can come to a conclusion by visiting a distance most of us can recognize, if not relate to, the distance between our heads and our hearts. Physically the straight line distance between our heads and our hearts is relatively short. If we look a bit deeper and define what’s in our heads, and in our hearts, that line becomes somewhat blurred. Our heads represent the intellect we all have in varying degrees. Our intellect thrives on complex problems and challenges. Should I buy the chocolate cake or the crab cake? How long will it take to drive from home to work, will I have time to buy coffee on the way, latte or americano, is there enough gas to make it all the way, should I answer that text while I’m driving, shoot I left my lunch at home, etc, etc, etc… Our heart thrives when we pay attention to our feelings. Emotional, our hearts are. Compassion, love, joy, happiness, etc. are all domains of the heart.
The line between the head and the heart becomes blurred when time is introduced into the equation. The element of time begs consideration, how long will it take to connect the mind with the heart? What kind of epic journey might this entail? Is it even necessary to connect the mind with the heart? What beliefs might we encounter along the Way?
At the risk of alienating 70% of the Planet, religion appears to rely heavily on beliefs. Religion has given us deeply rooted beliefs, beliefs that many proponents do not question. I have some questions. Did Jesus Christ die on the cross for our sins, or was he simply executed for going against the grain, daring to present a Way of life at the time that ran contrary to the decision makers of the day? If he died on the cross for our sins, does that mean we are an inherently bad and evil species? If we are an inherently bad and evil species, is that a function of the head, or the heart? Are the challenges we face today a function of being an inherently bad and evil species? How many wars have been fought in the name of religion, and do we want to continue the practice of war? What part of war is a function of belief, and what part is a function of something else? Who believes climate change is real? Who believes climate change is a bunch of malarkey? Who is right? What belief system created colonialism? Do our politics today reflect the beliefs of the majority? Do we want to perpetuate (to cause (something that should be stopped, such as a mistaken idea or a bad situation) to continue) these things into the future for our Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandchildren? Are the challenges we face today a function of our beliefs, many of those beliefs so deeply rooted that we don’t even question them?
My name is Bob Purdy, I am the “Standup PaddleSurfing, Elder in Training” from “Paddle for the Planet”. I believe part of my job as an “Elder in Training” is to stir the pot once in a while! It is my belief that belief in our beliefs are doing a number on us! Can we create a better World just by changing our beliefs? I believe we can!… It is my belief that if we make that epic journey to connect to our hearts we will know the right thing to do, because the right thing to do is written in our hearts!…
Join us for World Paddle For The Planet September 13, in Tofino British Columbia or on your own water starting at noon. Together we will send a Wave of Change across the globe!