Saturday, March 31, 2012

A bird's monkey's eye view

So last year, around this time, I embarked on this really exciting project, namely, Harry Purple Monkey Dishwasher.  Never in my wildest imagination would I know that what I would get out of it would far transcend the goal.  The objective of writing the stories, creating the plush characters, developing the website and social feeds was to teach, inspire and have a lot of fun along the way.  When everything was launched I stayed true to what I was hoping to achieve, but then something else happened.  Harry PMD took on a life of its own. All you writers out there will totally get this; how often have you developed a character that becomes so real you begin to take on their characteristics.  Or should I say, the character coincidentally becomes you.  Now you are probably asking yourself, don't tell me she's becoming a monkey? No...not really...oh what heck...yes. By stepping into the world of a primate, I have had the privilege of knocking off many of the prejudgements and 'know it all' attitude and seeing things from a fresh, or in this case, monkey's view. 

What exactly does that mean? I have taken to exploring all the corners of the earth, trying to see, learn and understand what humans and animals are experiencing. I would describe it as someone removing a veil from my eyes.  See, it's easy to live in the world we surround ourselves, letting in information and news at a level that is appropriate to that lifestyle, but when you accept it all at face value, the realities, the great acts of kindness..or violence, the plights of many cultures, species and the state of our planet, nothing can ever be the same. 

When I had chosen the spider monkey as Harry, it was because of some of the common known facts I had learned.  I dug deeper and spent time watching these amazing creatures and I couldn't help but see so many parallels to humans.  The further I looked the more I discovered. One fact that hit me hardest was that these creatures are on the brink of extinction. They are one of many in such a frail state and I am saddened at what we as humans have done to cause all of this imbalance.  On top of it all, we've done so much damage to the very essence of what sustains our lives; air, water and earth.

Seeing the world through Harry's eyes has allowed me to really (and I mean really) appreciate the planet and everything in it.  I know there are many out there who already get it and are acting to help make the world a better place. But I also know that it's not enough. Every single being plays a part in nurturing or destroying our earth. 

So if you can, step out of the concrete world and immerse yourself in the beauty of our planet. When you do that, life as you perceive it will change, and you too will feel compelled to act and give back to a planet that one day may stop giving.

Be the change.

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