Force of Nature

Wangari MaathaiImage via Wikipedia


 
The first time I heard the term, a force of nature, used to describe Nobel Peace Laureate, Wangari Maathai, I wondered if the writer was being derogatory. After all, I reasoned, a strong woman is often looked down on by those who fear her power.  However, as I learned more about this amazing woman, I realized that this was a term of endearment, a term of great honor.

A force of nature...like a hurricane, tornado, or northeaster...Dr. Maathai swept into action creating a new world in her wake.  For the women whose lives she touched, she left confidence, hope for a brighter future, and the knowledge that the world could be different.  For the children whose lives she touched, she taught a love of the environment, a love of self and a love of each other.  For the men her life touched, she was the personification of Grace under pressure, Peace in the storm and Calm Assurance in the midst of chaos.





Dr. Maathai's death has come too soon.  She was a young woman by today's standards.  Cancer stole her from the world.  At least, that is one way to look at her death.  Or, we can see that her work her among us was complete.  She had done what she was sent to do, completing her work with Joy and Love.  She has not died, merely moved into a new life in which her glorious spirit can be felt each time we touch a tree, watch children play in peace or witness a woman stand strong against the storm of degradation, prejudice and pain.

The following are some of the words left to us by the beautiful Soul known to us as, Dr. Wangari Maathai:

“It is evident that many wars are fought over resources which are now becoming increasingly scarce. If we conserved our resources better, fighting over them would not then occur…so, protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace…those of us who understand the complex concept of the environment have the burden to act. We must not tire, we must not give up, we must persist.”

“All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet.”

"African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence."

"It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees."

“The people are learning that you cannot leave decisions only to leaders. Local groups have to create the political will for change, rather than waiting for others to do things for them. That is where positive, and sustainable, change begins.”

"We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, that are responsible."

"Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve."

We can all be hummingbirds, forces of nature, in this world. We only need follow the example set by Dr. Maathai.

May the work begun by Dr. Maathai continue through those who have had ears to hear and eyes to see.  May her legacy be a world that protects the rights of all living beings, witnessing the fragile connection we have to the environment and celebrating the beauty of Peace, Love and Compassion.

Namasté
 
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Comments

Blog Rehab said…
What a lovely person. So inspiring.
Yes, Dr. Maathai is an inspiration to us all!

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