Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ordinary heroes: Willie Smits rebuilds a rain forest

Willie Smits started out trying to save a couple of orangutans. In the process he sheltered thousands, halted rampaging grassland fires, regrew a rain forest, changed the climate and, oh yes, provided water, food, livelihood, education and a vastly improved standard of living for thousands of Borneo natives. In his TED talk titled A 20-year tale of hope: How we re-grew a rainforest, Smits tells the story in just eighteen minutes. His speech left me breathless. Take a look.

Whew! I have dozens of questions for Smits, don't you? While he is not the first to reclaim a forest or jungle or green a desert, Smits's work shows us how close we can be to realizing the vision of Ordinary.

Image copyright 2009, L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.

For devoting his life to protecting and preserving orangutans and their habitat; for showing us how it can be done while improving the environment; for upgrading the economy and helping people, who like the orangutans get their livelihood from the forest, to achieve a higher standard of living; and for making the vision of a world of peace, harmony and prosperity, much like Ordinary, real; this week's Ordinary Hero is Willie Smits.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely brilliant and profound. An amazing man and amazing task. I am blown away and greatly inspired. He is proof that one person can make a HUGE difference. Thank you for finding and sharing this with me. Hugs, Robin


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