This week I listened to and watched:
Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, by Sarah H. Bradford: This 1869 book is in the public domain, so I listened to the Librivox recording. The more I learn of Harriet Tubman, the more I find her inspirational and relevant to sustainability. We need role models of people who had incentive to lay low but acted. As a former slave, she would have been safer laying low. Instead she went back into slave territory over a dozen times, saving seventy people. She worked with the Underground Railroad, which collectively saved about a hundred thousand.
During the Civil War, she used the skills and experience from saving slaves as a spy and scout for the Union Army. She was the first woman to lead an armed regiment.
Today people recoil at the suggestion of picking up litter or flying less. How far we’ve come. We could learn from her.
Wallenberg: A Hero´s Story 1985 TV Mini Series, starring Richard Chamberlain: Raoul Wallenberg was Tubman’s equal. The Wallenbergs were like Sweden’s Rockefellers. Raoul grew up with a soft life, educated in Paris and America. Learning of the Holocaust, in 1944 he went to Budapest to save Jews from the Nazis. He saved thousands directly, by creating a scheme of ad hoc diplomatic documents, business deals and finagling with Hungarian and German soldiers, creating safe houses, and more. He also helped save about 70,000 when the Germans were leaving in defeat and conspired to blow up everyone remaining in the ghetto. He did so by threatening a Nazi General that he would make sure he was tried for crimes against humanity.
This miniseries won four Emmy Awards and was nominated for five more.
As with Tubman, he makes a great role model for sustainability, where we can use role models of people who could have benefited from not acting, but instead acting. Try telling Wallenberg or Tubman that individual action doesn’t matter. They put their lives on the line to show the opposite. Learn what they know and you don’t.
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