This week I drove to rural western Nebraska to meet and walk with the cross-country marchers from ClimateMarch.org. They’re the group that is marching 3,000 miles across America to raise public consciousness about the urgency to act now to mitigate the man-made causes of climate change.
They left Los Angeles on March 1st, crossed the Mojave Desert, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and, now, they’re half-way to their goal to be in Washington, DC on November 1st. Their route will take them through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington DC.
I did not know what to expect when I caught up to them taking a break in a park shelter in Stratton, Nebraska. Would they be a bunch of idealistic hippies? Would they all be wearing tie-died clothing, listening to Grateful Dead, and espousing the Bob Marley creed? Anything was possible. As a former backpacker in my youth and having spent a continuous month on one trip, I knew there was a strong possibility of the ClimateMarch.org group being…..how do you say? Ripe.
Here is what I discovered upon meeting them: These are quite possibly the finest group of people I have met in a long while. They have all put their educations and livelihoods on-hold as they spend seven months walking for a cause for which they are passionate. They are well-educated, sharp, positive, joyful, kind, interesting, and well-organized. I can honestly say that these marchers instantly became friends and my hope is that we will have many opportunities to work together in the months and years to come. They are that good.
In fact, as a sole proprietor with an MBA, if I had the need to hire people, I would hire this group in a heartbeat. These Millenials understand principles and ethics. They grasped planning and logistics, the concepts of brand awareness, social networking, and service. Their focus is on a successfully completed project and their egos take a backseat. As I said, I would hire every one of them.
We spoke awhile under the shelter and then we continued their march. Time constraints prevented me from doing more than a couple miles but, let me be forthright, it is instantly addictive. I did not want to leave. There are fifteen hundred miles ahead of them and I want to be part of it. They understood I had to leave and they were gracious. They know few people can walk extended distances with them. They appreciate every person who can walk a mile, a day, or a week with them. As I said, their focus is on the cause of climate change and we can all play a part.
I will join them again en route and add a few more miles. I will definitely cross the Potomac with them as they approach Washington DC on November 1st. I will not miss that for the world. Upon reflection, that may be a sadly literal phrase. We all need to be there.
Here is my recommendation for all readers and listeners. I will return and I want my family to be a small part. As they approach your hometowns, large and small, I would encourage every church group, every Boy and Girl Scout troop, every Rotary Club, and every community organization to march with them – to be small part of a critical movement. I will tell my friends across the country. I will tell them what I tell you: these marchers are friends and they will be your friends and, together, we will take action to live wisely and abate climate change. This is your chance.
Tim Danahey can be contacted through the Tim Danahey Show at www.Danahey.com