I found myself this morning with a few quiet tears trickling down my cheeks for Harambe, the Silverback Gorilla who was shot and killed at Cincinnati Zoo to protect a 4-year old child who'd fallen into the enclosure.
I'm not here to write about the rights and wrongs of what happened. I'm not here to say who's "fault" it was or to argue the decision made by the zoo or whether the parents of the child were irresponsible. It's easy to look from the outside at events like this and pass judgement. But there's always more to it than meets the eye.
I'm here to write about something beyond that. And you may not care today what I have to say about a shot dead gorilla, but this is all I have this morning, because my heart is full of gorilla.
And even as I write this, I find the view of my computer screen obstructed by more tears and there's a pile of Kleenex balsam mounting on the bedside table as I wipe them away and blow out the snot. Why is this making my cry so much?
It could be hormones, of course.
But it's not. What it really is, is the child inside me that cries for things like this. The part of me that can't understand how we had to end up here at all - with a beautiful, magnificent, wild animal endangered and cooped up in a pen somewhere. Not just Harambe, obviously, but all the beautiful, magnificent, wild endangered animals cooped up or living in constant threat.
It's the part of me that can't understand why we're (the human race) so incapable of co-existing with the rest of what's here on the planet. The part of me that can't understand why we need to saw off horns and tusks to make fairytale potions. The part of me that doesn't get who on earth could take pleasure in hunting and killing for no other reason but to then pose for a photo beside the dead animal and declare "behold my power. I am greater than all beings."
And I don't often write my views or feelings on anything like this because I'm sure there are so many holes in what I think and any argument I could make, that it might all seem very silly. After all, I'm severely undereducated on the stuff I say I care about.
Nevertheless, one has to start somewhere with speaking about the things one cares about, no?
And apparently I care about gorillas.
Or just big, wild animals.
Hearing about Harambe, and my subsequent reaction to his death, was something of a wake up call for me. I have to be honest and say that in recent months especially, I think I've lost sight somewhat of the bigger picture. Lost sight of what I'm really working towards and for.
Or perhaps it's not that I've lost sight, but that I'm now gaining new insight about my life and my business and the purpose of it all.
I did a LOT of journaling yesterday. Several hours of it, in fact. And in my journal I wrote about money and the wealth I wanted to create.
And I do. I do not hide and don't apologise for the fact that I intend to create vast and extensive wealth through my online business.
But what for? I'm currently packing up my entire home ready to sell and leave. 80% of what I own I never or rarely use. I wear the same clothes and the same necklace day in and day out. I have pots of make up that no longer hold much interest for me. The expensive kitchen equipment I've gathered over the years sits in my cupboards month after month, waiting for the day there might be someone here for me to cook with or for.
So I certainly don't want wealth to satisfy any desire I have for accumulating more. All I'm ever trying to do is have less.
But there are things I do want. I want to be able to get on a plane or train or bus if and when I need or want to. There are certain places in the world I would greatly love to see and experience. I would like to make sure I have all the money necessary saved away for my later years so that I can take care of myself and my current or future friends and family, if that's what's needed.
And yes, you see, there are already so many holes. If I fly, what's my impact on the environment? In what direct of indirect way are my actions killing the very animals I sit here crying about? And what about the journal I write in? Where did the paper come from? Did I check it was from a sustainable source or have I contributed to the destruction of more natural habitat? And all those tissues on my bedside table. What about those?
So anyway, I wrote in my journal about the wealth I wanted to create. And then I wrote down that I wanted to give the vast majority of it away. I wrote down that I wanted to take what I needed to live the life I want to live and to save for the future and give the rest away.
And honestly, I think money is important. I've been through enough money struggles and heard enough stories from others over the last few years of building my business to know that, for now at least, money is a very real part of my existence and I do myself nor anyone else any favours by not doing all I can to increase my wealth.
Money, I believe, can be beautiful and part of the problem is that it's seen as such a horrible, evil thing. But money's another story entirely. But we really should talk about that one day, you and I.
I think what I really want to say and share with you today is this:
I care so much about your freedom. I care so much about you living the life you want and doing it on your own terms. I care that you don't sit, day after day, doing work that slowly (or quickly) saps your spirit or drowns the fire in your soul.
I want you to have exactly the life you want. I want you to travel if that's what you desire. I want you to experience all that you want to experience.
But I also want you to remember (and I really speak about me here when I say you) that's it's easy to get caught up in the process of creating that life. It's easy to get caught up in the noise and lose sight of what it's really about. It's easy to start wanting things without really knowing why you want them. It's easy to forget about the things you once cared so deeply about.
Your business is about creating YOUR dream life, yes. But it's also an opportunity for so much more than that. It's an opportunity to create something that's about so much more than you and your life. It's an opportunity to pour any wealth you might create into the things that make tears trickle down your cheeks. It's an opportunity to use any platform you might have to talk about the things you believe matter.
You might say that if I care so much I ought to go off into the field, do work on the ground to protect these animals. Perhaps. But I don't believe that's my best place. Not right now. But what I can do, today, is start doing a little more research, educating myself a little more about where I might help in an effective way on the things that matter to me. And then to begin. Perhaps today's post is a small start.
So, there you have it. Forgive me for my unformed thoughts and reasoning with holes in. This is what I have to offer today and I hope, if nothing else, it will stir a few thoughts of your own.
Perhaps a question would be useful:
What are the things in the world that cause tears to trickle down your cheeks? Is there something you could do that you're not already doing?
Love and courage,