Passion and the Humming Bird

I have been thinking alot latley about experiences and how our experiences directly shape who we are , our intrests, likes/dislikes and our passions. One experience that I have had the last three summers that has greatly shapped who I am as an individual and as an educator, is getting to go to London, England and work at Pax Lodge- Which is on of four Internatonal Girl Guiding Centers. These last four summers I have been luncky enough to work with people from ALL over the world (25 diffrent countries!).One of my jobs this last summer was to develop a program that promoted the elimination of violence and subjectivity against women around the world. Women, to this day, are still one of the most globally margenalized population groups. I have beome extremly passionate about becomming informed on issues that effect girls and women around the world. I am particularly passionate about issues surounding girls and education.

A part of the program I created was a veiwing and discussing of Wangari Maathai’s video : ” I will be a Humming Bird”.Wangari Maathai, is one of my inspirations.  Wangari Maathai was the creator of the Green Bel Movement, which was an initiatve that empowered women in her country to improve their livelihoods by increasing their access to resources like firewood for cooking and clean water. She became a great advocate for better management of natural resources and for sustainability, equity, and justice. Wangari Maathai has inspired others to take a stand and do what ever is possible to make a diffrence in the world.

The Story of the Hummingbird tells the tale of a  great forest fire. The story starts by explaing that the earth has caught on fire and all the animals of the world are standing by and watching in fear as their world is destroyed. All the animals are helpless, except for the hummingbird. The hummingbird is frantically collecting drops of water and placing them on the fire. The elephant ( a much bigger animal) asks the hummingbird why he is bothering collecting water, as he is too little to make a diffrence in the situation. The humming bird replies, ” I am doing the best I can do”. This message is such a signifigant one because it reminds us that although we might feel overwhelmed by the way things are in a given issue all we can do is try. An action does not have to be big it just has to be.

It seems to me that as educators we want to help teach our students this message. That although they might ” feel insignifigant” their  actions can be signifigant.

I would love to hear everyones thoughts on The Story of a Hummingbird and about encouraging global change. 

 Does anyone have any ideas of how to talk about global change in the classroom? 

Who are your  inspirations and what type of message can they teach students? 

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