Tribute to Professor Wangari Maathai

Ever wondered what makes the world spin? Okay, forget about the scientific theory for a moment. We all know how it feels to walk or sit in the scorching sun for hours. That moment when you wish you could just drop yourself in the ocean.... I am sure you are familiar with that moment when you are busy walking in the streets feeling very happy. 

Who knows? You could be rushing for a date and you just can't hide your excitement. Amidst your happy bubble, a big lorry or a bus dashes past you releasing all the exhaust fumes into your face turning your lips upside down. Perhaps you have watched a river or a lake dry up over the years. It is very sad, right? I like to believe that each of us has that person we really respect and admire. It could be a friend, a parent or your next door neighbor. We all know of phenomenal personalities like the late Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey. Well now, we cannot forget to mention the late Prof. Wangari Maathai. 

A woman who made a difference in this planet. She must have been a wonderful mother just like the impeccable leader she was. She couldn't stand the fact that the world was increasingly becoming a concrete jungle and she chose to fight it with all she had. Wounded, abused and mocked but she stood firm. She raised her voice because she knew the world was listening. Her resilience won her the Nobel Peace Prize and even as she stood on the world stage to receive her coveted award, she remained humble. A true heroine indeed. As the world marked the fourth anniversary since her passing on, we reminded ourselves of her powerful story. 

She touched the lives of so many..from the royal family to the most powerful country, from the young child watching her on television to the old woman in the village who had the honour of planting a tree with her. It was a beautiful day in Nairobi, the magnificent city under the sun. The people marched in the streets chanting her name. Not even the stone-faced pedestrian dashing to who knows where could withhold the desire to pause and listen to the sound of the drums and trumpets. The city stood still... indeed her spirit lives on. The little humming bird that did all it could to save the forest that was on fire. Even when it was mocked, it never gave up. She said that planting trees was her little thing. What is our little thing? What is your little thing? It is the small things that make our lives better, the small things that make a difference, the things that bring out the best in us. Like the little humming bird, we too can possess a tenacious spirit. It's the little things that make the world spin!

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