Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Power of One!

I am a strong believer in the power of positive thinking. Likewise, I believe that one person CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. As I come to grips with the reality and magnitude of what one amazing person, President Johnson Toribiong of Palau, just did by declaring Palau a Shark Sanctuary, I reflect on being just “one” person back in 1995 when I set about my efforts to save sharks.

But just as true as it is that one person can indeed make a difference, it is equally true that achievement of Palau’s declaration as a Shark Sanctuary is not just the work of one person. On the contrary this ground-breaking achievement reflects collective efforts over time of a great many “ones” who believed that they too could make a difference and were willing to help.

No one person can lay claim to credit for Palau’s historic announcement at the U.N., including myself, and I simply don’t. This achievement is testament to a powerful collective effort by lots of “ones” who simply did what they could. There are many such “ones”, some visible and some invisible, but all of whom deserve credit for this tremendous decision
Just as with a digital image consisting of many pixels, no one pixel tells the whole story, but combined the pixels bring the image to life.

No pun intended, but all I did was my bit!

The rest is the work of others. To each and every “one” who pitched in and helped make this happen I am sincerely grateful and thankful for your contributions. Every “one” of you made a difference!

One such person is Edward Dorson, Professional Photographer and Advocate for the Ocean Environment. Edward has worked tirelessly and endlessly in rallying broad support for the protection of sharks and the marine environment in Palau. While Edward’s hard work may often seem invisible, the results of his efforts are not! Thanks Edward!

Another “one” is my long time friend and professional photographer Gunther Deichmann, who was an environmental activist before I knew what that even meant! His work and his friendship have inspired me over the years. He’s also been most generous in providing images, securing media coverage, and in building and hosting the Shark Sanctuary website at his expense. Gunther is a founding father of Palau Shark Sanctuary. Thanks GD!

Speaking of father figures!…..I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the encouragement and support of my good friend and “father” Dennis Camblin who schooled me and scolded me as necessary and helped me get Palau Shark Sanctuary off the ground. It would not have happened without him. Thanks Dennis!

And then there was “one”. Lots of “ones” in fact…and that’s Michael Skoletsky and Shark Savers. Michael responded to the call for help early this year when Palau’s shark protection laws were under threat by launching an on-line petition on his Shark Savers website. The Shark Savers petition resulted in more than 4,500 “ones” who signed and or sent letters from around the world urging Palau’s leadership to stand firm on their strong shark protection laws. The power of “one” multiplied. Thanks Michael!

No doubt there are other “ones”. But I’m pressed for time right now and want to post this before I sign off so I must stop here. Apologies in advance to those not yet mentioned. You’re next.


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