One of my favourite Far Side comics shows a flock of geese walking down the road. One of them looks up in the sky and sees another flock flying. The caption: Hey, look what they’re doing!
Last weekend I went shopping at Community Natural Foods for some healthier meals. I looked at a little plastic box of spinach, and I noticed a label: This package is made from corn.
It looked like normal clear plastic to me. And yet, it was as if someone out there had read my post about “No More Cheap Plastic” and had come up with a simple solution. Corn.
The great thing about using corn is that, with global warming, pretty soon most of North America will be “the corn belt.” By 2020 we’ll probably be able to grow the stuff in Fort McMurray. Then we can stop mining heavy oil because we’ll be able to run our cars and package our food with corn.
Another thing I saw this week:
You may have seen it already. When heavy storms blew in on the Dutch coast, a hundred horses got trapped on a small island surrounded by rising water, only a hundred metres away from the mainland. Eighteen of them drowned. The fire department tried to rescue them by boat, but the water wasn’t quite deep enough, so the boat got lodged on the sand when the horses weighed it down. The nation watched, and wondered how it would work out. Small boats carried hay out to them to keep them alive.
A few days later, the waters receded to about chest level. But having watched 18 of their compadres drown in that water, those horses weren’t about to venture out. They stayed on the island. The island was barely big enough to accommodate them.
Then four of the local women tried something different. They got on horses and rode them across the water to the island. The trapped horses looked over and said (not out loud) “Hey, look what they’re doing!”
The women rode back and forth in the water, and let the trapped horses figure things out for themselves. Then the women turned and headed back for the mainland. A hundred horses followed them eagerly.
I found it inspirational, not because the solution was particularly courageous, but because it was simple, creative, and took a little leadership.
In that story, I saw what we can do for our fellow human beings that are each trapped on their own little islands of fear and doubt. So many people get surrounded by the rising waters of debt, or alcoholism, or abuse. People get stuck on small islands of jobs they hate, relationships that don’t work, and lives that grow intolerable.
People need leaders. People need heroes.
In what area of your life do you show leadership? What is something you do well that you could help others with? What is something you can do to be a hero?
It doesn’t have to be hard.