Today, I will temporarily silence the sincere, sometimes sarcastic, and always unapologetically anthropomorphic voice of the whales and dolphins, on whose behalf I have been speaking passionately now for nearly a year, both in my book, The Tempest’s Roar, and in this blog. Today I want to address you simply as a fellow human being. Recently, I received an email from a leading figure in the ‘Save the Whales’ movement who had never heard of me but had been led to read my blog. He asked me some probing questions; why do I work so hard at this cause…what do I ultimately seek to achieve…who benefits from my writing…and, cutting to the chase, why do I care?
Why do I care? Any intelligent person might ask that same question; why should anyone care about whales and dolphins? A nation at war. A stagnant economy. Acrimonious debates at the highest levels in politics. Corruption and greed rewarded. Life savings slipping away. Homes lost. Dreams fading. Aging parents. Unsettled children. Cancer. Crime. Chaos...Believe me, I understand: life is hard. With all of the above crashing down upon us (me included), why should we care about whales and dolphins? The reason is simple, and it is not because I believe that unlike any other creature walking, crawling, flying, or swimming across the face of this earth, whales and dolphins come closest to us in intelligence, in self-awareness, in feeling, in being afraid of their enemies, in loving their families, and in understanding the meaning of death and dying. I believe all these to be true but there are many who do not.
However, there is one fact that is indisputable: life is short and we are only here once. I believe that to have lived without caring for some cause, without believing in something more important than ourselves, without lifting ourselves up above the trials and tribulations of our daily lives, without trying to make this earth a better place no matter how small our impact may be or that no one will ever know we tried, is never to have lived at all. When we are dust, and no one beyond our grandchildren remembers our names, what we have done in our lives beyond simply passing through time and space, will live forever. That is why I care. And that is why you should too, if not for whales and dolphins for something, somewhere. Do it and your life will have meaning far greater than you know. Do it because you were here.