So, I just wanted to clarify yesterday’s post a little, in case anyone didn’t have the energy to read the whole thing, and thought that I was getting at Roz. I wasn’t!!! And she still remains one of the most inspirational people in my project work in Georgia right now. The person I look up to for inspiration when times are tough and I am feeling despondent about working hard and feeling that I am getting no where with my efforts or fundraising.
The point I was trying to make, is that we don’t always see behind the scenes when it comes to expeditions, and such people as Roz only really come into the media spotlight once they have achieved their success or completed their expedition.
This can lead to the false impression of explorers like Roz being rich or having celebrity status, and it can lead to misunderstandings and false impressions that explorers like Roz live a ‘charmed life’ and that everything comes easy to people like ‘them’.
I know that Roz is not ‘loaded’, nor have I come across any such criticism of her, but I am sure there will be sceptics out there somewhere. I know what she went through in getting her boat and making it sea worthy, and I appreciate how stressful it must have been to start her expedition across the Indian Ocean, knowing full well that she would be relying on others sponsoring her mileage every day, just to see her through to the end. Roz has no money, she is not ‘loaded’ and despite that she is doing what she is doing because she feels SO PASSIONATELY about her cause: ridding the oceans of plastic, one oar stroke at a time.
For those of you who dislike the length of my blogs, stop reading now:)
For those who don’t mind reading my ramblings carry on reading…
On this same theme, I wanted to highlight a few home truths when it comes to expeditions like the one Roz is involved with, and why really, my blog was more a criticism of myself because I feel I should do more to support my friends and explorers, just as I hope they would support me one day in my own projects.
I want to highlight my argument, by drawing attention to Ed Stafford, who just walked the entire length of the Amazon River on an over two year expedition, that saw him being captured by police, and lots of other horrifying things. Now, when Ed had this idea, many people told him he was crazy and an idiot for even contemplating it, and probably there were those who thought he should do what society expects and get a proper job instead of taking some ‘gap year’ or whatever. Ed’s cause was different to that of Roz and his background was also different, but they both faced the same battle of non believers and critics. But both felt strongly enough to continue regardless, even though they were not rich nor famous.
It would be easy to look at Ed now, with a documentary series of his expedition on National Geographic Channel, big billboards of him plastered on sidewalks advertising his ‘tv show’, book deals, and travelling around the globe now, and being interviewed and many people now knowing his name and his brand, and wanting to be his friend. It would be all too easy to look at Ed now and think that this success just happened over night, its alright for people like him, they can just go on expeditions, and everyone will fund them on their jaunts, no questions asked, I mean he has his own tv show now and he has written a book. Right?
And that is the point that I was really trying to make yesterday, about Roz. That it is easy to look at people at the height of their success, and to jump on the bandwagon in applauding them and wanting to be seen with them, and to share in their achievements. But, I wonder how many people were there to support them at the beginning, or when times were tough, or when they had no money?? No one wants to back a duff horse, but everyone loves the winner. And I guess this applies to everyone really, astronauts, musicians, actors, even Madonna!! How many times were they kicked and how many times did they fail before they became household names that everyone wanted a piece of?? Who supported them and really believed in them? And how much of their success was down to their certainty that they could make it and would put every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into making their mission possible?
And I remember reading a plea from Ed Stafford, when he and Cho had absolutely no money at all and were really at a low point in their expedition, and I wonder how many people who support them now they are ‘famous’, were there to support them at their darkest hour? Its easy to look at someone and only see them at that one point in time, when they are promoting their book or television series, but to totally be unaware of what they went through to get there. And that was the purpose of my blog yesterday too, as I am really criticising myself here. I supported both Roz and Ed with my heart, and I am immensely proud and happy for both of them now they are finally getting the recognition and opportunities that they deserved, but what did I ACTUALLY do to support them? Could I have done more? The answer is yes, and I was really wanting to encourage other people like myself, who also support these guys, but somehow never get around to doing anything about it, to do something for once. And I was wondering why I will put my hand in my pocket to support the yobs of today in the hopes that my input will bring about change, yet I won’t get around to doing anything to support people who are doing so much good for my country and who are the real spirit of Britain, and who have my 100% support emotionally and psychological, but never physically? And I am sure that there are more people like me out there, who want to support them, but somehow just never get around to it. Perhaps because we know that they will be fine and that they will always find a way to succeed in life, that they don’t need the help of a mere mortal like us??
I know that Roz worked hard for her boat, and it wasn’t simply handed to her on a plate. I’ve been following Janice Jakait from Germany for over a year now, planning her ocean row from Portugal to Antigua (). I have watched her build her rowing boat bolt by bolt, and seen her applying for every single penny she has for her cause. I know that Roz, and Ed and so many other every day, normal people have also gone through this painstaking and long process, and I really just wanted to highlight two things in my blog yesterday:
1) These are not people born with a silver spoon in their mouth, they are EVERYDAY, normal people, just like you and me, so there is no reason why we can’t make even small changes in our life, like not using plastic bags to carry our roceries from the shop.
2) That even though they may appear to be celebs and rich, they are not, they have worked and fought bloody hard to get to where they are now, and they have done that alone, no one else has walked that river or rowed that ocean for them.
One Final Explanation
Ok, so I just wanted to bring up another point that people have criticised me for in the past. I know I write long and lengthy prose, and I am always criticised for it, throughout my life, believe me! And I really just wanted to remind people really, that this is just a blog, my blog in fact, and its not designed for a particular audience in mind. This blog is really just a reflection of whatever thoughts and feelings or experiences I have at that particular time. Those thoughts are mine and mine alone, and are not representative of anyone else, not my employers, not British people, nor anyone. They are my own.
I don’t expect anyone to read my blog, but when they do, its really great and its especially nice to get feedback. But, I’m not a writer, I’m not trained as a writer, nor do I claim to be a writer. The blog is just a collection of my own random musings and ramblings on things experienced in my life. Written for myself, and anyone else who cares to read them.
I know my blogs are full of typos and spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and probably some swearing at times. I’m not perfect, nor do I expect criticism for them. I try not to make mistakes, and if I feel like correcting them, then I will, but I don’t expect to be chastised for it.
Yes, I know I could learn to be better at writing, and to write more succinctly. But, at the end of the day, these are my extracts of my thoughts at a point in time, and if you don’t like them, then just don’t read them.
Nor are they slights on people or complaints about others not being perfect or whatever. I wasn’t slighting my father yesterday, I was merely just illustrating that we have our differences and the reasons for those, that even as blood relatives, sometimes we have different opinions, particularly on things like the environment. I also wasn’t saying that my father was anti-Roz or anything like that. More, that we just have different understandings of the world, based on our own experiences and studies. It is normal and healthy. I know that he would be in awe of Roz, and is in fact in awe of her for her expedition and for what she has accomplished. But what we disagree on is the use of rowing to promote change in the use of plastic and ridding the oceans of plastic. And that disagreement is not over Roz as a person, but on our approaches to problems. He thinks change should could from the top and all else is a waste of time, whereas I see change as being most beneficial coming from the bottom up.
In fact, I would be really interested to see Roz and my father in a meeting together one day, talking about what we should do to prevent the disaster that is facing our oceans. I know she would give my father a good run for his money, and I think that they both have very valid opinions and represent two common viewpoints on what should be done. In fact, I am sure that after walking from London to Copenhagen to the summits there, Roz has heard all of my father’s kinds of arguments before, and the conversation between them would be very enlightening. I respect both Roz and my father when it comes to topics of the environment, and both of them know much more than I do, and I really only know what I have seen and experienced with my own eyes. I don’t feel in a position to argue with either of them, for what would I know? I haven’t rowed an ocean nor do I have a degree in environmental studies, but it doesn’t stop me from caring, and it doesn’t stop me from making changes in my life. Instead, I use the experiences of both sides of the environmental coin, to educate myself and to help me to do what I can here in Georgia.
I hope that somehow this has cleared a few things up, just in case I was misunderstood yesterday. My point was that there is no trouble with Roz, the trouble is with us not realising the full scale of what she is doing and how she got to that point in the first place.