The other night my wife and I were at a friend’s home in Ojai. A bunch of us regularly get together and cook for each other. An eclectic mix of artists, musicians, scientists, researchers, doctors and ex or current military operatives, we spend the evening into the night, just enjoying the fok out of each other, and strangely enough, in spite of the laughter, challenges to each other’s knowledge bases, great food (each person is a remarkable chef-cook) and some interesting wines, we actually learn stuff that can be carried with us from that point onward.
One such gem which struck me with great clarity, was handed to me by “A” who is a man described to me as being the sort of person who “fills up a room”. We had met for the first time a few weeks prior, and had immediately taken to each other. Like brothers. Turns out the man is a Scot, living overseas, and while my life reads like a dime store piece of fiction, his ramps up into an arena that makes my own ethics in work, study and adventure, appear like those of a slacker.
Turns out that “A” is a water guy. A former foreign military operator, he told me how he had survived an open water training exercise. I had grinned at the account, because his solution to being left far at sea with his gear and making it back to land, was brilliant.
His gem, handed to me without fanfare, was this:
“You know the concept of Stewardship? That really does not apply well today. Stewardship implies that we watch over and maintain what is already here, and that everything is okay and in good shape. What we need, and what ought to be pursued, is Guardianship. That is where answers to the issues really lie.”
And he said it in his Scottish accent, as we both stood barefoot, cooking.
I have thought about that statement nonstop for a week now.
For the past several months I have been reading up on a rather pointed example of abused land, sea and air and need to write a little piece about it that will matter. The “problem” I am examining has been in existence for a very very long time. Many have protested it. Controversy has surrounded it. Billions upon billions of dollars have been spent on it. Nations focus on it. And I must write on it. The analogy of me being a teensy tiny drop of water, falling and being lost in the big pool of data, both accurate and false on the subject, has not escaped me. The question was not so much one of what to say, research and observation tell us that. It was how to say it.
“A”s statement both informed and woke me up. Those who are a part of the Ocean tribe, have a responsibility to become Guardians. We either step up and do so, or we become imposters who let terrible things be done to others at the expense of our Ocean and individual Nation’s health and well being.
The world needs informed Blue Voices now, more than ever. It is up each one of us to determine how the future will play out. I learned long ago that the saying “In God’s Hands”, is relative to our relationship with Him, and that for me, spending a life in the Sea leaves me uniquely informed regarding just what the statement means. And I see it in the brothers and sisters of my Ocean Ohana: Wisdom and Strength and Love. The principles of Guardianship.