I do not watch much television. I just do not have a lot of free time, and most of the shows anymore with their bad language, violence, and blood and guts, just have no appeal to me. If I do watch it is almost always in the evening while I’m cooking dinner.
The other day I turned on the TV and a show that I had not heard of was airing. It is called, ASPIREist and is absolutely captivating.
It turns out that it is in its second season and takes a multiplatform approach. Each episode is only 30 minutes, so you do not have to dedicate a lot of time. A pair of 60 Minute veterans, Shawn Efran and Solly Granatstein, are producing ASPIREist and they have different popular actors who are interviewed each week about issues that are close to them.
You may be wondering why I’m writing about a TV show. “ASPIREist is about finding those unique individuals who are aspiring to know more, do more and truly change our world, “ said Weinberg. I feel like that is who I am, and perhaps who you are, too.
One statement I saw that night keeps ringing in my ears. A young man was swimming in the ocean, and he said that he had been swimming for an hour and 45 minutes and had not seen one fish. All he saw was plastic. Indeed, the film was of him swimming through ocean water absolutely saturated with plastic. Horrifying!
It also got me thinking about what truly motivates a person to decide to make a change in himself or herself to affect the environment in a positive way. How are some people adamant that the environment is important to our lives and requires our care, while others believe that everything will be fine and we can continue the status quo? Is it a television show, a good book, a movie, or even a newspaper column that becomes a motivating factor for some to change their ways?
I think for most people it is an awesome experience, or experiences, that become the motivating factor to care for the environment. Growing up chasing frogs in a creek; waking up in a tent at dawn and hearing the night sounds slowly come to an end while day sounds are just beginning; or realizing the fragile beauty of a natural prairie, or forest. It does not have to begin in childhood. I know adults that did nothing in the outdoors as a child, and now are dyed in the wool outdoor enthusiasts. Yet, I know others who had incredible nature experiences as children and still do not believe that their way of life leaves a footprint on the Earth. It is of great relief to me that those adults are few and far between.
What kind of person do you “Aspire” to be? Do you want to share outdoor experiences with your children, or grandchildren, hoping that this will help mold them into environmental stewards? Do you make the effort to recycle? Or, do you do nothing? What kind of ASPIREist are you?
• ASPIREist airs on HLN on Saturdays and Sundays.
-- Lynn Youngblood is the Executive Director of the Blue River Watershed Association in Kansas City, Missouri. Reach her at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net