Subway conductors point at a black and white sign to prove that they’re paying attention. They do it at every hour, at every stop. We decided to make their day.
When I was a kid, I wanted to work at SeaWorld. It even says so in my 8th grade yearbook. I couldn’t think of anything cooler than swimming with dolphins and whales everyday. As I got older and learned the truth about these animals in captivity, my heart broke. It continues to break everyday. Orcas are highly complex individuals. They are incredibly intelligent. They speak their own languages. They have family reunions. There’s been documented evidence they may have funerals of some sort. They are spectacular beings.
They are also highly sensitive to noise. Being locked in a concrete tank with the pitter-patter of the millions of feet around them, music blasting, and unnatural noises day in and day out is essentially noise torture. For me, someone who suffers from tinnitus everyday of my life, it literally sends shivers down my spine thinking about what they endure.
CNN is airing the documentary, BLACKFISH at 9 pm. I humbly ask that you watch it. DVR it. Share it. Do whatever you have to do. Trust me, no one was a bigger fan of SeaWorld than I was as a kid, but it’s one of those things—once you know, you can’t unknow. There’s so much we can do for these animals.
I almost forgot to blog this — thank you tinsely, and happy birthday!
Creating awareness for this issue means so much to me, and I have been trying to see this documentary for months (I have asked J to find a download 400 times) — so pumped it’s airing tonight on CNN, at 9 pm EST.
Watch it. Tell your friends to watch. Watch The Cove. Watch Keiko the Untold Story. Get your tissues. Get mad about this. Do whatever you can.
I had about 10 minutes before my flight, enough time to grab one more cup of coffee. I had rushed to finish one more assignment on the floor of the Salt Lake City airport before my flight to O’Hare and somewhat tight connection to Zurich. Just as I was about to order a coffee, I heard a man behind me ask, “Are you Leonard?”
I turned, and a man and his wife stood looking at me, an open passport in his hands. He looked at it, then looked at me, then back at the passport.
“Yes,” I said, my mouth dropping. “Wow.” I reached out and he handed me the passport, my passport, that I had left on the floor a few hundred yards from the coffee stand. I had hurriedly unplugged my computer from its last North American electrical outlet, packed up my stuff and left my passport, boarding pass inside, sitting next to a potted plant in the busy terminal.
I said Thank You, then Thank You again, and the guy and his wife smiled and walked on their way. I said Thank You 10 more times in my head, stuffed my passport and boarding pass back in my backpack, and ordered a coffee, sighing and shaking my head in disbelief that I left my goddamn passport on the floor of an airport minutes before the start of a three-week work trip.
And that guy saw it, picked it up, and walked around the terminal for a couple minutes trying to find a guy who looked like the guy in the photo, and handed it to me, no questions asked, no expectation of any reward, just doing the right thing on his way to the baggage claim. I did my best to communicate my gratitude, but how do you thank someone for saving you from thousands of dollars in airline tickets, days of stress, missed schedules, maybe identity theft? I should have given him a bear hug right there at the coffee stand.
My friend Mick told me he had a friend who said, “I used to think I was gonna change the world. Now I just let people onto the freeway.” I always loved that line, because I think it says something about what people can do to make other people’s lives better—all those little things that don’t make the evening news.
Most days, I think that most people aren’t going to save the world in the way we usually think of that phrase, save the world: feed starving children, rescue families from burning homes, start a nonprofit that helps people find a new start.
But then I think about people like that guy who handed me back my passport, or you, when you find someone’s wallet at a restaurant and give it to the manager, or pick up a dropped pacifier for a someone who’s holding a baby and trying to juggle three other things, or let someone in front of you in line at the grocery store when they have two items to buy and you have 25, I think, yeah, maybe everyone’s going to save the world.
-Brendan at Semi-Rad