My father’s favorite motto has always been ‘carpe diem’. Whether it was a lesson about sports or school, or later dating, my brother and I would hear those words. Seize the day he would say when the comfort of bed kept us from water skiing on early morning glass at the Colorado River. Somehow, these words became an integral part of my every day philosophy and I met each day with a sense of hope that each day presented me with an opportunity. When I became enthralled with the sport of surfing, little did I know it would lead me down a path toward a passion where I am continually challenging myself every day.
I begin many of my mornings with an early morning surf session. I love the peace and tranquility I find on the ocean, as well as the thrill that catching an overhead set gives me. If the waves are poor one day I choose to enjoy the solitude that comes with the calm surf. Maybe no carves and cuts, but rejuvenated by the vitality of the ocean’s salty waters. I have a deep love for the ocean which I realized has led me to another passion I have developed as an adult – a keen desire to protect this great natural resource and the creatures that populate its depths. I feel a responsibility to protect these waters and beaches, so recycling and keeping the oceans clean and free of pollutants is now an integral part of my life. When I pick up litter from the beach or prevent my parents from using pesticides in their garden, I realize that it is possible each day to seize that day – using every and any opportunity to make a difference. We are all connected in this life – the earth and the oceans need our stewardship. Whether it is through volunteerism or merely paying attention to our own use of plastics – I am determined to seize every day to make my world a better place to live and work.
Of the 100 billion plastic bags used every day, only one percent of these plastics are recycled. Damaging our marine and wild life, these bags are destroying the water and land I so love. I believe I make a difference, by brining my own bags to the store and having my family do the same. So remember – carpe diem – seize the opportunity to bring your own bags to the grocery and pay attention to any change one person can make for this world we all share and treasure.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.