According to Lao-Tsu, “The way to do, is to be,” and along with my long practice of centering in gratitude for the challenges and opportunities that life brings along to us, I take action based on what I perceive to be the truth of this. So here I am in Amsterdam prepared to do that which I am: an environmental elder who had the good fortune to help start the environmental movement in 1969, and a man who loves the whole Earth, now about to serve as an Earth Day 2020 Ambassador during a 16-week Semester at Sea voyage to and in 11 countries as a member of team (including you if you so choose) to do what I can to make the whole of 2020 “the Year of the Environment.” It will be a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and we have the challenge and the opportunity to contribute to what my fellow environmental elder Joanna Macy calls The Great Turning in which humanity comes to its senses and moves to a higher plane of being in the world as Whole Earth Citizens whose responsibilities and response-abilities come into alignment to turn from an Earth-destructive path to one which respects and protects all of the other communities of life on Earth of which we are a part, including future generations of all beings.
Please come with me on this journey, wherever you are and whatever you are also being and doing. A good beginning point is to have a look at what other members of our team are doing to bring the Great Turning to fruition: such as Earth Day Network and #Mission2020, as well as the the many other environmental groups in our local communities, such as (to name just a few among the great many) the Earth Island Institute, the Community Environmental Council and the Environmental Defense Center.
My service during the Semester at Sea voyage will be to work with the 600 or so students, faculty and staff, and fellow Lifelong Learners to facilitate their efforts to do what they can to hit the ground running as fellow Earth Day 2020 Ambassadors when the ship pulls into San Diego on December 23.
I am deeply grateful for the support that you have already given to my service, and I hope that you will join me-- beginning now-- in being Earth Day 2020 Ambassadors to do all we can to make the coming Year of the Environment hugely consequential in effecting The Great Turning that is underway.