I am a firm believer in the mentality that one should continually strive to learn, to grow, to expand their awareness, and absorb knowledge like a sponge. Learning comes in many forms: books, the world, and the people around us. The wisdom available to those who seek it is infinite, and I find that admitting the shocking truth that we don't “know it all” is a quality that is more than admirable, it’s human. I have also discovered that while I learn, I teach. While you grow, I grow. We are all connected, we are all seekers of becoming something more.
On that note, as we continue to shape our collective dream of establishing the ISF Sanctuary in Louisiana, I decided to take a little road trip back to the beautiful Noah’s Ark Sanctuary just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I have always admired their love for animals, the story behind the sanctuary’s conception, and the people who work so hard to educate the visitors on a daily basis. This time I visited in the hope of learning a bit more about how they’re structured, what their model is, how it began, and how this will help us to create our own ISF sanctuary. I hope to make many of these exploratory trips to sanctuaries all across the globe as I know we have a lot to learn from these majestic animals and from the generous souls who devote their lives to the safety and wellbeing of these creatures. We will learn from their pitfalls, trials and tribulations. We will continue the discussion on what the process entails but we will also get to hear their heartwarming, resolution strengthening, and inspiring stories first hand as our own dream is brought to life.
And, while I truly believe the ultimate dream is that of a world where sanctuaries are no longer needed, one where humans know that the place for these magnificent beings is not as a roadside attraction or a source of disposable amusement, I know that until we reach that place, education is key. We must educate through our sanctuaries until they are no longer needed to protect the lives of those who were once abused, abandoned, or used for entertainment. Until then, I pledge to do everything in my power to work towards a planet that can provide the care and love for every animal that steps foot upon it, not only because they deserve it, but because they’ve earned it. I hope you all will stand with me.