Call To Action #4

I’ve been thinking about the year that just passed. What changed this year may not seem obvious, given that the pandemic continues to impact our lives, but I truly believe that if we look inwards there are changes underway. Yes, the year may have started with hopes for the end of the pandemic with new medical break-through treatments and vaccines, and yes, our expectations remain largely unmet as successive waves continue to sweep across Canada and the world. But even if our lives have yet to return to our pre-pandemic routines, other more profound processes are occurring. Just maybe it’s the pause we need to reflect on how we need to grow and evolve.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a young singer / song writer, Brett Kissel. This amazing Canadian has produced five records, 15 top-ten hits, three number one radio hits, and has received 22 Canadian Country Music Awards and three Juneaus. He’s already accomplished all this and he’s only 31.

With the start of the pandemic Brett and his family moved back to Alberta from Nashville. His three kids are now enjoying wide open spaces on their farm, and Brett is finally finding the time to reconnect with the things that shaped his life — hunting, fishing, and spending time with family. It’s all led to his latest record, “What is Life” and his first single from the record “Make a Life, Not a Living”. Like many of us, Brett has demonstrated resilience under pressure by turning inwards to re-examine the meaning of life, and has come to conclude that there’s more to life than money, possessions and fame. Link below to listen to my conversation with Brett on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of meeting a number of indigenous elders. I learned that being identified as an elder has little to do with age, and far more to do with one’s ability to express wisdom. Indigenous storytellers and knowledge keepers can also be of any age, as long as they are able to accurately recall and share traditional knowledge about their people’s past. What I especially find impressive about such indigenous people is that none of this involves telling people how to live their lives. The stories, the knowledge, and the wisdom is meant to support people to come to their own realizations about how they need to change and grow.

There’s also local knowledge that rests in the hands of both indigenous and non-indigenous alike. Wisdom that comes from a compilation of first-hand experience compiled over time. Thankfully, there are many who have taken it upon themselves to accumulate, further develop, and share this sort of geographically specific local knowledge.

It’s during periods of adversity that we make changes in our lives that have often been long-coming. People don’t normally tinker with things that are working well. This includes our relations with one another, our connections with nature, and how our choices impact all that is important to us. More than ever we need people who can offer wisdom, examples and knowledge, so we can evolve in our relationships with each other and nature.

As change makers it’s up to all of us to help people to not lose hope, But to instead help them to open their minds and hearts to traditional, local and scientific knowledge. Recognizing that many of us are going through a period of reflection, use this time to support others to explore how to ensure their relationship with nature is mutually sustainable. It all starts with supporting people to become more open to others and their knowledge and ways. We already know how to make people comfortable with our disabilities, now use these skills to facilitate their strengthening their understanding and relationship with nature.

To catch up on what I’ve been up to, visit the following resources:

Links to past episodes of Outdoors with Lawrence Gunther on Apple Podcast

Links to videos on the Blue Fish Canada YouTube Channel

Link to past episodes of The Blue Fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast

Links to my advice about Outdoor Conservation and Adventure on Outdoor Canada Magazine

Links to my environmental Reflections on AMI TV and Audio

Links to my Outdoor Insights on my blog

Links to Tips for boating and fishing blind on another of my blogs

Links to resources for living more sustainably shared through Blue Fish Canada

Follow me on Twitter @LawrenceGunther

And on Facebook  @LawrenceGuntherOutdoors

Happy holidays everyone!

Yours Truly,

Lawrence Gunther

President / Blue Fish Canada