Wangari Maathai is one of the Kenya’s most well known individuals and also one of my heros. She was the first African female recipient of the Noble Peace Prize and was recognized for her efforts with environmentalism and social activism. She founded the Green Belt Movement, where for over 30 years she mobilized poor women to plant 40 million trees.
She passed away in September 2011 due to complications with cancer. Her spirit remains with us as her words continue to inspire people all over the world.
In this video, Wangari Maathai tells a beautiful story of a hummingbird that becomes determined to save its home from a forest fire. In the story, the hummingbird faces criticism from other animals for being too small to make a difference.
Throughout her life, Wangari Maathai stood up to challenges and won. Like the hummingbird in this story, giving up was never an option for her. Her spirit lives on in the millions of trees she helped to plant.
I love this story. It has taught me that when confronted with adversity, when the odds are stacked up against you, you can either stand aside – helpless, frozen with fear – or do the best you can.
“I may feel insignificant, but I certainly don’t want to be like the other animals, watching as the planet goes down the drain. I will be a hummingbird. I will do the best I can.” -Wangari Maathai
This video made me reflect on the meaning of the idea “changing the world.” I think that we can all change the world by EACH OF US doing the best we can with what we have where we are. There’s power in each of us doing what we can to make our communities the best they can be. Wangari Maathai is a beautiful reminder of the power that each of us has to make a difference.
Thank you so much Wangari Maathai for your courage and wisdom.