To the man who overheard the conversation I was having with my children at a café this morning about the plight of elephants, who rolled his eyes and got up and moved, I wish to say, “sorry, not sorry.” If I rained on your breakfast parade by educating my children about the fact that one elephant is illegally killed every 15 minutes, “sorry, not sorry.” If it burdened you to hear that between 2010-2012 alone over 100,000 elephants where murdered, “Sorry, but I AM NOT sorry.” And just so you know, this conversation was started by my children after watching an amazing documentary called, “The Secret Life Of Elephants” broadcast on NatGeo Wild. Do you not want me to answer their questions about why people are killing elephants?
One of the reasons such atrocities even exist in this world is because so many of us choose to roll our eyes, close our ears, and turn our backs to the mention of the news because it is so depressing, and instead shield ourselves in our perfect little neighborhood bubble where everything seems to be OK. But it is not OK. Because we are all connected, and at the hands of a very small number of illegal poachers, in my and your children’s lifetime there very well could be no more elephants living in the wild. I was very fortunate to see herds of elephants roaming the wild on a trip to Tanzania just 20 years ago, a gift my children may not be able to receive. Poachers are killing these 5-ton magnificent giants for their tusks for an illegal ivory trade in Asia. That’s like someone killing you or me for one tooth! It’s ludicrous and unimaginable, and I am not OK with it.
What if instead every single one of us chose to PAY ATTENTION and picked just one—JUST ONE—cause to support, whatever it is… feed a child, save an elephant, plant a tree, install solar panels, reduce the amount of plastic we consume that ends up in the ocean, and all chose to educate our children on the needs of the world. Of course, if we wait for our children to fix the problems, many of them will go away, because it will be too late, and there will be new, bigger problems. Just choose something about which you care! If we all acted up on our caring, imagine what kind of world we’d be creating then. Surely, we aren’t the generation of complacency and comfort as many suggest, and surely we all still care.
You know what, Sir, I am sorry. I’m sorry for you that the elephants are disappearing, because it is affecting your family too. And I’m sorry for my family that you’re one of the ones who doesn’t care.
So I just made a donation to savetheelephants.org on both of our behalves. And I’ll be donating again this Tuesday, November 29th for #GivingTuesday when an anonymous donor has pledged to match every donation made up to $100,000. Thank you to that donor for caring, and being willing to donate your hard-earned money to such an important cause.