As you can see, Doris is a reluctant hero. She didn’t believe that there were such terrible creatures in the world and that the bad things that the fairies talked about could actually occur. She doubts and doesn’t want to be the one to do something about it because that meant the small fairies living in her huge home would discover it was messier than most, and that her kitchen appliances and artwork were out of date.
One day Doris’s doorbell rang, and she opened her door. That was her call to adventure. Can you imagine something so mundane changing a life? Lots of movies work this way. Especially romantic comedies. In movies, they talk about the “meet cute,” a mundane moment where the romantic leads meet. In The Holiday, the character played by Kate Winslet meets her romantic interest played by Jack Black when he rings her doorbell and she doesn’t know how the technology works to answer it.
The great philosopher, Joseph Campbell, has written about the hero’s journey. He studied ancient myths from all over the world and discovered that they all told the same stories, even though they were a world apart. They told stories about the origin of the world and stories about the stars and love. These stories all had the same structure. And I believe Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey is the story of HSPs (Highly Sensitive Person) and how we can own our power.
After dropping the tool he had in his hand, he wiped his forehead and eyes and stood up, puzzled. What in the world can that be?, he must have said to himself, but because his preoccupation was with the broken-down water system and he knew that he had a limited amount of time to fix it, he kept ignoring the idea that maybe, and seriously maybe, something else needed his attention right away elsewhere. He couldn’t exactly pinpoint where those sounds came from, but he quickly figured out once he started walking behind the gate and around the pond with the papyrus trees.
Amazing storytelling is crucial when fundraising: good stories inspire. Good stories coming from the heart, that is. Stories that have the power to change what is outdated and no longer works. Stories that live in and for today’s world, and not in the long-gone past. Stories that resonate with the collective consciousness. These are the tales of transformation and of love in action.
Understanding animals shows them respect. Doing so illuminates the interdependence between and among species, including humans. This understanding doesn’t come from books or nature films alone. It doesn’t come from a brisk walk through a zoo. The understanding needed grows through the guided exposure to animals’ stories, strengths, threats and survival skills.
Ethiopia is a country that still fills my heart to this day. I took a memorable eight-day trip to Ethiopia with G-Adventures, the National Geographic tour operator that teaches what exploration with purpose means, in August 2019.
As an archeologist and philanthropist, world travel has been my lifeblood and has led serendipitously to the transformation of the lives of orphans and the welfare of abused animals in five countries over the last sixteen years. I met ordinary people who, like me, just wanted to make a difference in this world. In this time of the Coronavirus, the world has shuttered. Suddenly our passions, projects and even our connection with people have been put on hold. How do we keep transforming ourselves and the world from the confines of our four walls? How do any of us continue to do what we’ve always done with such dramatic life changes? How do we find a new normal?