Monday, 5 November 2012

Smiling for Sea Shepherd

I was once told by a very good friend that the opposite of Happy is Very Happy.

What a different world we would all live in if everyone thought that way.  What a BETTER world we would all live in if everyone thought that way.

Sooner or later it happens to us all, we end up with the blues.  For those of us who volunteer in ocean conservation and the protection of marine wildlife that cycle of despair seems to be an even more regular occurrence   There always seems to be more people working harm on the planet than people working to repair the harm and even fewer working to stop the harm being caused in the first place.  But, dear reader, that can only be a perception, a glass half-empty view if you like.  And those of you who know me well will also know that I don't do half-empty.  I don't even do half-full.  I approach life with the view that my glass has whatever it has in it and from that point on if it is to be, it is up to me.

So how do you burst a cycle of despair?  How do you get rid of the blues?

Well, the big trick I learned was never to ignore the things that are causing the despair in the first place.  My "despair" this week has come from the extreme, clear and present threat to Whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary from the Japanese Whaling Fleet and the almost daily slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales in Taiji's infamous killing cove.  There are other atrocities happening around the World but those two are uppermost in my mind as I type this.

Of course if those things went away then I would be happy, but me being happy will not be enough in itself to  make them go away. If I am happy, though, then I am much more mentally prepared to do whatever needs must be done to add my own contribution to ending these horrors.

So to beat the blues I use those events that in the past might have caused me long-term despair as my REASON to find the core of happiness that lets me move forward.  And then I add to that core with the knowledge of what others are already doing to combat those wholly unnecessary evils on this planet.  I find the silver linings in those horrible clouds and add my own polish to those silver linings.  From my metaphors above, I am filling my glass up - adding to what is already there. I am also making myself aware that there are more working to stop harm and to repair harm than any of us realise.  A lot more.

Here is what has taken my blues away this morning:

Today the first ships set sail for Sea Shepherd's Operation Zero Tolerance (if I was filling up a real glass I would have needed a bigger one to add all of the Happy that news brought).

I also took that as an opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do and so my second BIG happy this morning came from this video, another Sea Shepherd video, explaining Why We Defend the Oceans.

Please enjoy and please remember, the opposite of happy is very happy.  Let me take your blues away...