Blue Ocean Network Liz Cunningham - Page 8

recalled the fear she had while descending

into silt-filled water. As she kneeled on the ocean floor, her dive instructor reached over to a visibly-shaken Liz and squeezed her hand. While that gesture may have seemed small and unremarkable to her instructor, it was a pivotal event in Liz’s life. As she puts it, having her hand squeezed at that second in time, “changed the whole game [for her] with the ocean.”

Liz’s story is, in fact, an analogy for the greater efforts to reverse the ocean’s course taking place around the world. We don’t always know what is going on, or how small efforts can effect large-scale change, and that’s ok. What matters is that you share your knowledge or take action in your own way, Liz argues.

As her great uncle, Kurt Hahn, who happens to be the founder of Outward Bound, used to say, “People need to be rescued from the misery of the feeling that they’re unimportant.”

Just like the dive instructor who grabbed Liz’s hand likely didn’t know how that small gesture would change her life, it’s impossible to know how the small things you do each day are going to impact another person.

It’s with this mindset that Liz encourages viewers and readers to reevaluate their definition of hope, to recognize that their voice matters, and to plant that seed of those insights with the people around them.

Liz quotes the words of eco-philosopher David Orr, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.”

For many around the world, their sleeves are already rolled up. Whether it’s people all over the world coming together to save the bluefin tuna, or fishermen in Sulawesi saying “no more” to dynamite fishing, or companies incorporating sustainable practices into their business model, the reality is that conservation practices

Liz speaks with Bay Sunday (San Francisco) about her book, Ocean Country, and the stories of the people that inspired her along her journey.