I Will Be Like the Hummingbird

“I will be like the hummingbird. I will do the best I can.” ~ Wangari Maathai

Each of us has been given the opportunity to make a difference for wildlife and for the health of our environment by taking relatively simple action. When we choose to create welcoming habitat for wildlife in our gardens, we are doing something that has immediate beneficial impacts for the wildlife and environment around us.

It’s so easy to feel like nothing we can possibly do would make such a difference when there are so many big problems in the world around us.

But I am taking inspiration from an amazing woman who refused to believe that the actions of one person did not matter. I think you’ll be inspired, too:

[This is a clip from Dirt! The Movie, which I am very eager to see]

“It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make their leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in.” ~ Wangari Maathai [April 1, 1940 – September 25, 2011]

Wangari Maathai was a true visionary, a passionate environmentalist, the guiding force behind the Greenbelt movement, and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace prize “for her contributions to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.”

Wangari changed the course of a nation by the simple act of planting trees. There were huge problems in her country: drought, war, hunger, and so much more. But Wangari Maathai didn’t wait for the government to fix these problems. She said “Each of us must do what we can.”

[This is a clip from Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai, also on my list of “must-see tv”]

“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” ~Wangari Maathai

What’s your little thing? Planting a meadow? Creating a butterfly or hummingbird garden? Making pollinator or bird habitat?

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” ~Wangari Maathai

Clean air. Clean water. Healthy ecosystems. Thriving wildlife populations. These resources do belong to us, and we must certainly rise up to protect them!

“We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process.” 

“We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!” ~Wangari Maathai

So now it is time for each of us to be like the hummingbird and do what we can. Choose your “little thing” and get started today. And I’d love to hear all about what you’re doing. Please tell me about it by leaving a comment under this post.

Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.

© 2012 – 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

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  1. Gloria Douglass says

    What a GREAT article about Wangari. I am an organic gardener and provide Educational Garden Tours, in which I convey the fundamentals of organic gardening and the positive effects it has on our environment. I encouage visitors to plant native species so they can attract birds, pollinators, and beneficial insects. I have created a balanced eco system by using all of natures creatures, and its all done by planting Native species. Knowing what to plant and having the “correct soil” will enable gardeners to have the most natural garden that will have ultimate benefits and rewards for our environment, and help reverse the damaging effects that man’s greed and ignorance has done to OUR HOME,EARTH!

  2. says

    i had this post up on my monitor, had read it (loved it!!!) watched the movies, tweeted about it, when the doorbell rang…it’s a pest control service. poor guy. but i was able to share a bit of why i don’t want to kill all the insects in my yard and all my neighbors’ yards, which was great! it’s a thought that has just never occurred to some people, NOT killing insects. anyway, carole, thank you for writing this. i will post it everywhere i can!
    Daricia @aCLTgarden recently posted..In Front of the Library in Southport, NC


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