Let's talk about Respect. You know, the thing that allows people to co-exist in a crowded world.
We can respect EACH OTHER by being polite, waiting our turn, and trying to walk in the shoes of others. But we also need to learn how to respect the WORLD AROUND US.
When I think of respect, I think of surfing. This word is literally ingrained into surfing's DNA, it's a definition of the sport's culture. If you show respect to the locals, then you get to be part of something that's incredible. But if you break that unwritten code, then screw you, you're kicked out. It's a two way street.
Today, it's easy to feel like environmental issues are too big for us to handle. Words like climate change, pollution, and overfishing are all thrown around so often that it can feel like something as intangible as the boogie man is coming to get us.
But when you break it down, you realize that all we need to do is step back and understand our place in the natural world. We need to give nature the respect that it deserves.
Unfortunately, online culture and social media have this tendency to make people really selfish. I see it outdoors all the time from people disturbing wild animals so that they can take a selfie with them, to people trampling over sensitive habitat just to get a better picture. The problem is that there's nobody out there to keep selfishness in check. We need to do a better job at holding each other accountable for our actions.
Showing respect for nature means leaving no footprint while we enjoy the outdoors, but it also means making important changes at home. When you can, use less single-use plastics and support local, sustainable businesses.
People can come together to accomplish great things. Lead by example and educate those around you to respect the planet that we all rely on. It's up to us to pave the way for a better future.