The scene: this morning, coffee in hand, reading CNN. Trying not to take in some of the more shock/horror focused headlines, my eyes caught on something that pinged with a lot of my recent thoughts about life:
Clicking through, I was really intrigued to read this quote from “ Dr. Robin Hanbury-Tenison, one of the greats of British exploring…”
Explore, don't tour
For Hanbury-Tenison, who has led more than 30 expeditions over the last 60 years, the thrill of reaching a place and taking a few trophy photographs isn't enough.
"What is a turn-on is stepping over the threshold from being a tourist to being an explorer-scientist. Then you are actually contributing to saving the world, to enlightening people to what is wrong and campaigning," says the 77-year-old, who has written more than 20 books on his adventures, most recently "The Modern Explorers."
- First thought: How can I immediately be known as “one of the greats of American exploring” and lead expeditions?
- Second thought: I love what he says about being an explorer-scientist and that it’s different from just being a tourist! Yes, we are SO on the same wavelength Dr. Hanbury-Tenison!!
- Third thought: If I wrote to Hanbury-Tenison, would he write back?
- Fourth thought: His name is a clickable link!
- Fifth thought: … and it goes to a website about him, promoting his many, many, many books, which I shall now jump into, request from library, check for on better world books and….
--> My inner monologue starts telling me that:
o This man will never write back to me if I write to him
o I will never be a great explorer
o This is yet another immature idea to latch on to that will keep me from living a fully formed adult, responsible life
o …and in any case, I don’t have any room left for more books in my house – I am at twice my carrying capacity
o …and more than that, I barely have time to read anymore,
o …so when I get his books they will sit on the floor, gathering dust,
o …and each time I walk past them and my eyes fall on them, I will feel a stab of guilt that:
- I spent money on them
- I haven’t read them yet
- they contain tales of adventure I will never have for myself
- because I was not born into the right age for this/not good enough for this/no one will want me in this position…
Clearly, I need to be inspired by this and not have my mind race forward with thoughts of gloom and doom. It IS exciting, and what the heck. I am going to write a letter to Dr. Hanbury-Tenison. I think I’m going to write letters to all of my sources of extreme inspiration, and simply tell them how inspired I am by them. Why not? If anyone ever wrote me a letter like that I’d be so touched and pleased. So it shouldn’t be about having them write back to me. It should be about me reaching out and telling them how they’ve enriched my mind and my life.
Emma’s inspirational letter writing campaign, list of
2. Carl Zimmer3. Jane Goodall (who I did in fact meet and talk to, 2 years ago, and made such a hyper oinking geek of myself that I owe it to myself to send the same basic message I was trying to get across [essentially: she has inspired me] in written format)