During last month’s safari, I found myself staring in disbelief at the last two Northern White Rhinos on earth, Najin and Fatu.
Of course, we’ve all heard about the many species which are already extinct, on the brink of extinction or endangered … but we don’t typically visualize and internalize what the last two of anything would look and feel like.
The losses measured in terms of our own health and existence are just as devastating. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one, or an entire community.
Balance is a delicate state of being. Here today, gone or lost tomorrow. We covet the idea of homeostasis even though we don’t always follow through with what we can do to achieve and maintain it.
Najin and Fatu, both females, are protected in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where our safari lodge is also located. They are under constant surveillance by armed guards because they, like all species, are connected in “the web of life” a term I recently read about in the article Why Endangered Species Matter by Renee Cho.
Imagine those we interact with in our personal and professional lives as being equally valued as us, and to each other for the roles they play in the web of life … despite their varying importance in our individual lives.
Imagine looking across our diverse world of land, creatures, people and their cultures – and realizing how we are all intricately connected to that precious balance we seek – often, all we have to do is get out of the way.
But here we are, watching these two carefully guarded female Northern White Rhinos.
We aren’t guaranteed that future plans for in vitro fertilization (they froze the sperm of the last male) can prevent the extinction of yet another species.
As an individual, and collectively, all we can do is look at where we are now in this web of life. Then we can commit to deeper self-knowledge and growth … and the further protection and development of the brilliance we have in our immediate vicinity, and around us on this earth we share and call our home.
Look within, as well as without, appreciate what you have, and act accordingly… before it’s (already) too late.
Be the choice you wish to see in this world,