So I’ve been thinking of Steve Irwin’s passing for the last few days now. Can’t avoid it really, with all the attendant items in the media and special tributes on Animal Planet. (I was watching a few today, great stuff…)
What is it about Steve Irwin that made his death such a big deal around the world? I mean, without meaning to sound morbid, if someone of the celebrity status of Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears, was to meet a tragic end, would the world mourn them as intensely as they have Steve Irwin?
Maybe I’m just being idealistic, but I think not.
Steve Irwin was an entertainer, a TV personality, a great hands-on father, a devoted husband, an excellent croc-wrangler, and certainly a passionate conservationist. But look around the various other programs on Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, or Nat Geo, and you’ll come across a half-dozen or more similar personalities, but without being able to leave the same electrifying impact that Irwin so easily could.
So what is it that made Stevo unique? Methinks, his unbridled, uncensored, undiminished, unbounded love of life, nature and the creatures that live among us. His methods may have appeared dangerous, wacky, funny, but his heart was always in the right place, his intentions always noble, his message always clear: Conservation. Conservation. Conservation.
So what has his life, or specifically the way he lived it, taught me?
Simple, really. Live every day like it’s your last. Soak up every second. Absorb every minute. Enjoy every hour. Make every day COUNT for SOMETHING.
Most of us are lucky people. We just don’t seem to realise it. We are not stricken with disability, nor straddled with poverty, nor cursed with disease. And yet, there are those who number themselves among the disabled, the poor, the sick, who have been able to rise above their lot in life and live in a manner of such honour and respect and nobleness, that it shames the rest of us, the so-called ‘normal’ folk.
I’m short, skinny and wear glasses. I tend to think I have a large nose, small jaw, and all-round unattractive face. My skin is oily and unfortunately acne-prone. And for too long, I’ve let myself be too worried about all these negative thoughts that it has stopped me from concentrating on my good points. I’m not gonna elaborate on them, because this isn’t a boast post, but be assured I do actually have good points.
So it’s about time I stop moping about, and get a move on with this thing called life. I’ve always wanted to learn another language or two (or three), pick up a musical instrument, make a short film, write a book, enrol in a gym (and actually stick to it), maybe even get into kung-fu…
But that’s just the self-improving part. There’re community service projects to be involved, charities to donate time, money and effort, environmental messages to raise, etc. I cannot promise that I won’t be tardy in keeping to these goals, since it’s gonna take me a while to slip my life into high-gear, but I sure am gonna try.
Who knows? We too could die a sudden death sooner than expected, and wouldn’t it be a shame if we were to die alone and forgotten, all memories of who we were and what we’ve done simply fading away…
Life. It ain’t one, if you’re not living it.