Yes, volunteering makes a difference … but!
“I live and breathe for the monkeys.”
Really? If the person making that statement is being honest, why then do they show no interest in watching or showing new volunteers a nature documentary. Why do they smoke cigars and toss the butts into the fire? Why do they not speak out against the use of palm oil, plastics in nature, the importance of vegan diets or supporting the earth in general? They’d rather drink and play cards than engage in real-world work and conversations.
A dishonest, empty person
Do you really believe that a person acting like the one above can live up to their claim of “wanting to make a difference?”
Many people find it easy to convincingly say the right words. It is beyond frustrating to me to hear so many people use all of the right words, and then do the exact opposite.
I have, unfortunately, observed people just like this at the Vervet Monkey Foundation. When things get hard, they back down form their own words and simply lie to themselves. Wild animals need advocates that will stand up for them and even challenge the head of the organization if they have questions or think changes are needed. These are the people that can make a significant difference on a global level.
Words don’t impress me. I want to see action. Don’t just stand around complaining, wasting both my time and energy. Do something! Make a change!
We are ghosts haunting our own lives
Animal abuse happens right under our noses on a daily basis. Just take a look at the internet or watch the news. Many people do not want to acknowledge the truth that is directly in front of them, perhaps because of that nagging feeling that they themselves are doing something that is actually hurting another living thing.
Real compassion comes from a deeper place
How do I know that people are often not what they seem? I see many volunteers that give up as much as a year and a half of their life to work with wild animals, and that is of course commendable. The problem comes when they return to their private lives and send out completely different signals that counteract all of their good work. Saving the wild is as much about what we do in our everyday lives as it is volunteering. We have to send a consistent message to our family, friends and the world at large, even if that message is hard for them to hear.
“Wild animals and nature need your voice. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to BE HEARD, even when it is hard for others to hear what you need to say.”