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The Long and Winding Road

I first heard about World Pulse in May this year on Women’s Magazine (www. kpfa.org, a California public radio station) and immediately posted the link on Facebook. How did I find kpfa? I used to live in San Francisco and it was my favourite radio station back then. I lost it for about 10 years when I moved back to England, but rediscovered it online in Asia.

My personal story is a long and winding one, but it seems I have always had a penchant for being on the side of the abused, oppressed or disenfranchised. From an early age in my native England, I was an animal lover and greatly distressed by the cruelties I discovered in the slaughterhouse, the circus, the laboratory, as I still am. When I was pregnant in my early thirties in Hawaii, I woke up suddenly to the environment. Protecting and respecting our Mother Earth has been a driving force in my life since. Here in Vietnam, I watch the march of “development” with dismay - the destruction of mountains, trees, rivers, communities – for resorts, agricultural land turned into industrial “parks,” rivers dammed and polluted, the ocean full of plastic...
Conservation has become my cause célèbre in my writing, as I learn how the wildlife trade is emptying the remaining forests to feed Vietnam’s and China’s appetite for bush meat.

For 25 years I have worked variously through art, education, example, direct action and more recently through writing, to raise awareness in the hope of effecting change. Since those first days of heady idealism, I have become more cynical*. In spite of overwhelming evidence that human activity is causing the collapse of ecosystems, mass pollution and climate change, corporations and governments (the patriarchy) continue with business as usual. Industrialisation, globalization and wars are destroying, degrading and desecrating our planet and our future, while women are hanging in there, nurturing, caring, supporting, teaching, growing food, healing, grieving... Yes, our voices need to be heard, yes, our energies need to be deployed, yes, our potential needs to be fulfilled, to balance and counteract this relentless plunder. It has to be a movement, or many movements, connected and working on different levels, on different things at the same time.

In Voices of Our Future I saw an opportunity to contribute more effectively through the written word and other media. However, through the website, in just the last week or two, I begin to understand the great potential we have collectively and how much my personal vision of a healed, regenerated Earth reverberates in so many women’s hearts around the world.
* I just want to clarify what I mean by "cynical" - I have come to realise the enormity of all the problems and recognise that not only those in power, but the majority of society want to go on "business as usual," which means the challenges are huge to really turn this around. But I am not without hope, or I wouldn't be here now!

Comments

Stella Paul's picture

Happy

I am happy to meet you - a fellow conservationist and I wish you all the luck to make to it to the thirty chosen ones!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

gingerhooper's picture

Voices together that lead to action

Part of my current job role is encouraging young people across the UK in schools to consider different global issues. One of those issues is the degradation of our environment and it shocks me how many believe climate change is a myth made up by the government! Fortunately there are also many young people who recognise the harm that has been done to our fragile planet and are stepping up. One girl said to me: "now is less a time for talking and more a time for doing all this stuff we keep saying". I agree! It's a tough battle but also a serious one. It is easy to become cynical I think but we need to focus on the fact that change is possible. Keep up the action Annie, it is so important.
Laura

Annie Malia's picture

Hi Laura, or is it

Hi Laura, or is it Ginger?
Thanks so much for your comment & the good work you are doing in our country. Your comment was valuable in making me see how it might be interpreted, so I added this:

* I just want to clarify what I mean by "cynical" - I have come to realise the enormity of all the problems and recognise that not only those in power, but the majority of society want to go on "business as usual," which means the challenges are huge to really turn this around. But I am not without hope, or I wouldn't be here now!

Walk in Beauty
Annie

gingerhooper's picture

interpretations

I definitely didn't see you as without hope. There is in fact more hope in staying with what you believe when you have seen so many things that might dissuade you!
Laura

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thank you

Thanks for all you do. I completely believe that the oppression of women is closely linked to the oppression of our Mother Earth. We can't heal one without the other. You are wonderful and I send you my love,
Lisa

bouchmd's picture

Nice Post

Hi Annie,

Thank you for your post. It can be overwhelming with all the 'problems' we are facing in the environment, but it's refreshing to see that people are still pushing the cause and trying to make a difference!!

Keep it up!
Michael

Stephanie Roth Gurung's picture

Hi Annie, Glad to hear about

Hi Annie,

Glad to hear about what makes you passionate and what has led you down your road to WorldPulse! I also have had quite a protective streak for animals since I was young, and I'm glad to learn that amidst all these problems being inflicted upon our earth, you are keeping the hope!

-Stephanie

Annie Malia's picture

Good to hear from you.

Good to hear from you. Animals need all the advocates they can get! Reading your comment this morning, I honestly don't know if I'm keeping the hope. I just know that I can't give up.
PS I'm also an ESL teacher & have been in Nepal three times & Portland once!

Walk in Beauty
Annie

Stephanie Roth Gurung's picture

Awesome! Seems we have a bit

Awesome! Seems we have a bit in common : ) Are you teaching ESL in Vietnam? I have a friend there who loves it.

-Stephanie

ChelseaPeil's picture

Personal

Great overview of your life's passions and processes. The reality of the personal struggle with all the pain and destruction in this world is so important to be honest about with all the matter of fact information emotional intelligence for continued involvement is a difficult subject. Thanks for sharing,

Chelsea Peil

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