Many Drops Will Fill Up A Bucket April 28 2015, 0 Comments « Back to Blog
All photos by Andrew Miller
Written by Josi Stephens // Asymbol
When an earthquake lays waste to a land that both nurtures our dreams of treasures untold and harbors one of the kindest, most gentle and hardworking of cultures, every idea of fairness and justice is called into question. It is an insanely helpless position to see from so many miles away the destruction of Nepal; an entire community and its most sacred areas brought to its knees; a place that has already seen so much tragedy. It is gut wrenching. Especially close to the heart of the action sports community, Nepal is the gateway to what is for us a Shangri-La: you’ve been there and it’s changed your life, or the dream of the Himalayas has followed you around like a stray dog for as long as you can remember. Either way, the dreams of Nepal are wound tightly with the fibers of our highest imaginations.
This is a land that is no stranger to Mother Nature's wrath. We have watched from the safety of our computers how angry and unfair the natural world can be. It seems especially hard on the gentle and kind people of Nepal. The death toll on this most recent disaster rises daily and aside from those numbers is the loss of so many sacred and ancient monuments and places of worship; the beating heart of any community. It is a terrible thing to know these things and feel the helplessness that comes along with distance and scant access to funds. Some of us may be in a place to aid the relief efforts either with time or money, while most are left with a feeling of powerlessness.
This isn’t the first time that we have been faced with this situation. Gnarly shit happens all over the world all of the time and there doesn’t really seem to be much that can be done. Not by him with a below poverty retail salary. Not by her with a job that won’t allow a long weekend off let alone a month to do relief work in Asia. Yet this thing that acts like an undeniable reality (everyday life/ responsibilities/financial barriers) is just a hazy veil that separates us from being a help to those that need it. In order to make myself a part of the solution in situations that seem so impossibly fucked I have taught myself a few crucial things.
- There is no act of financial help that is too small. We are strong in numbers. Find a relief aid organization that you trust. I look to Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk and other adventurers in our community. These folks have done their homework and are deeply invested. Five dollars when multiplied by all of us is no small number. So do that first. Shelterbox is a great one.
- Participate in the educated spreading of information. Keep this crisis on the forefront of the daily discussion. Sardonic stabs at politicians and celebrities can find the back burner (or perhaps the trash). The people of Nepal will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives. Let’s keep it in our hearts as well, there is a lot of power in intention.
- Educate yourself about what is truly needed. The knowledge is out there and it is our responsibility to access it. We all have a special skill that can be a great boon to those in need. Can you throw parties that have donation jars at the door? Can you organize fund raisers? Are you a builder? A crafter? A famous athlete that has the ear of the youth? Without a doubt you have something inside that can help.
- Be proactive. Keep an eye on the future. Mother nature is clearly beyond pissed. Our winter was proof of that. There is always something that can be done on the home front to staunch some of the bleeding. Amazing organizations like Protect Our Winters, Surfrider Foundation, and 1% For The Planet are keen to utilize all of your extra energy.
- And finally (perhaps most importantly), don’t be discouraged by how insurmountable this feels. Do not hide from this because it seems too big to even make a dent in it. If you have seen ants build a hill then you know that if we work together there is nothing that can’t be done. The Nepalese are predominately Hindu, a religion that reminds us that we are all one and that life is about harmony and freedom. Which means that your part, however small, still matters.
As a human I stand alongside the people of the world as we find our own ways to get Nepal back on it’s feet. In the famous words of one very small but very powerful Jedi, “There is no try, only do.”
*All photo credit goes to the wickedly talented Andrew Miller. His journey to Nepal with Jeremy Jones for the film Higher yielded some of the most stunning imagery that we have seen. You can check out more of Andrew's photography from the Higher expedition here.
Asymbol will be making a donation to the aid organization Shelterbox for every print of Andrew's sold through May 15th, 2015.